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Gaultheria shallon - Pursh.                
                 
Common Name Shallon
Family Ericaceae
Synonyms
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Grows on sandy or peaty soils in shady positions from the coast up to elevations of 800 metres[60].
Range Western N. America - British Columbia to California. Occasionally naturalized in Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of shrub
Gaultheria shallon is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone 5. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Gaultheria shallon Shallon


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Wouterhagens
Gaultheria shallon Shallon
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Wsiegmund
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Ground Cover;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses: Tea.

Fruit - raw, cooked or dried for later use[2, 3, 4, 183]. Sweet and juicy with a pleasant flavour[11, 95, 101], it makes good raw eating[K]. The fruit can also be made into preserves, pies, drinks etc or be dried and used like raisins[183]. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter[200] and is produced over a period of several weeks in late summer[K]. A pleasant tea is made from the leaves[101].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent;  Poultice;  Stomachic.

A poultice of the toasted, pulverized leaves has been applied to cuts[257]. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been applied to burns and sores[257]. The leaves have been chewed to dry the mouth[257]. An infusion of the leaves have been used as a stomach tonic and a treatment for diarrhoea, coughs, TB etc[257].
Other Uses
Dye.

A purple dye is obtained from the fruit[99]. It is dark green[168]. A greenish-yellow dye is obtained from the infused leaves[257]. A ground cover plant for a shady position under trees, spreading slowly by means of suckers[188]. It should be spaced about 90cm apart each way[208].
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers a moist but not boggy humus rich soil in shade or semi-shade[11, 182], but it can also succeed in full sun. A peat and moisture loving species, it requires a lime-free soil[11, 182]. One report says that it can succeed in dry shade[188] and another that it can withstand considerable drought once it is established[208]. Plants are hardy to about -20°c[184]. A vigorous suckering plant, it can be invasive when growing in good conditions, but responds to cutting back[1, 28]. It also succeeds when planted under trees[28, 49]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
The seed requires a period of cold stratification. Pre-chill for 4 - 10 weeks and then surface sow in a lime-free compost in a shady part of the greenhouse and keep the compost moist[78]. The seed usually germinates well, usually within 1 - 2 months at 20°c, but the seedlings are liable to damp off. It is important to water them with care and to ensure that they get plenty of ventilation. Watering them with a garlic infusion can also help to prevent damping of[K]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are about 25mm tall and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter[K]. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. The seedlings are susceptible to spring frosts so might need some protection for their first few years outdoors. The leaves remain very small for the first few years[11]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood 3 - 6cm long, July/August in a frame in a shady position. They form roots in late summer or spring[78]. A good percentage usually take. Division in spring when new growth is about 7cm tall. Divided plants can be rather slow to get established[182]. We have found that it is best to pot up the clumps and grow them on in a shady position in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Pursh.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
1160200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[3]Simmons. A. E. Growing Unusual Fruit.
A very readable book with information on about 100 species that can be grown in Britain (some in greenhouses) and details on how to grow and use them.
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[28]Knight. F. P. Plants for Shade.
A small but informative booklet listing plants that can be grown in shady positions with a few cultivation details.
[49]Arnold-Forster. Shrubs for the Milder Counties.
Trees and shrubs that grow well in Cornwall and other mild areas of Britain. Fairly good, a standard reference book.
[60]Hitchcock. C. L. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest.
A standard flora for Western N. America with lots of information on habitat etc. Five large volumes, it is not for the casual reader.
[78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
[95]Saunders. C. F. Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada.
Useful wild plants of America. A pocket guide.
[99]Turner. N. J. Plants in British Columbian Indian Technology.
Excellent and readable guide.
[101]Turner. N. J. and Szczawinski. A. Edible Wild Fruits and Nuts of Canada.
A very readable guide to some wild foods of Canada.
[168]Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants.
A very good and readable book on dyeing.
[182]Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos.
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[184]Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Shrubs.
Excellent photographs and a terse description of 1900 species and cultivars.
[188]Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[208]Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover
An excellent detailled book on the subject, very comprehensive.
[257]Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
phil rooksby Fri Feb 29 2008
a photo of this (taken Feb 2008) is on our blogsite http://monkeyandsofia.blogspot.com/2008/02/have-cup-of-tea.html

monkey & sofia

Elizabeth H.
Jay Dawson Thu Dec 10 2009
This website lists this plant as toxic if eaten... http://www.burncoose.co.uk/site/plants.cfm?pl_id=1947 regards

Natasha L.
Jan 9 2012 12:00AM
Called "Salal" by locals (like me). The berries are best eaten before they get ripe (reddish color), or they get mealy and tasteless (black colored) - I know from experience. And no, as far as I know, they are not poisonous by any stretch of the imagination. The local deer live on the leaves and my goats will eat it to the ground if I let them.
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