At a Glance: Creeping to erect shrub with hairy branching stems and dark leathery leaves.
|Sun/Shade Tolerance||Hydrology||Elevation Range||
full sun > 80%
mostly sunny 60%-80%
partial sun and shade 40%- 60%
mostly shady 60%-80%
full shade > 80%
well drained soils
nutrient rich soils
nutrient poor soils
Aquatic and Wetland:
Ponds or lakes
Swales or wet ditches
Seasonally inundated areas
Marshes or swamps
Aquatic bed wetlands
Seeps, springsShorelines and Riparian:
Streams or rivers
Stream or river banks
In or near saltwater
Coastal dunes or beachesRocky or Gravelly Areas:
Slide areasSub-alpine and Alpine:
Forests and Thickets:
Forests and woods
Old growth forests
Forest edges, openings, or clearings
ThicketsMeadows and Fields:
Pastures or fields
Meadows or grassy areas
Mossy areasDisturbed Areas:
Nectar for hummingbirds
Nectar for butterflies
Host for insect larvae
Thickets and shelter
Thorny or protective cover
Birds: Grouse, band-tailed pigeons, towhees, and other ground-feeding birds.
Insects: Brown elfin butterfly larvae eat the twigs.
Mammals: Bear, foxes, coyotes, and other smaller mammals eat the berries. Deer and elk eat the twigs.
|Ethnobotanical Uses and Other Facts||
Material Uses: Haida used the berries to thicken salmon eggs. Leafy branches used in pit cooking and as flavoring for fish by the Saanich and other Vancouver Island Salish groups. The Nuu-chah-nulth made a purple stain from the berries. Leaves can be rolled into a cone to form a makeshift cup.
Medicinal Uses: Young leaves chewed by the Ditidaht to suppress hunger. The leaves were chewed and spit onto burns by the Klallam.
Food Uses: Berries eaten fresh and dried by most Northwest Coast peoples. Kwakwakawakw ate the berries ripe and dipped in oolichan grease at feasts. Berries were mixed with others in cakes and traded Berries have been made into jam and preserves.
Landscape Uses: Used as garden ornamental in Britain. Spreads easily once established.
Name Info: "Salal" is the native peoples name for the species.
Interesting Facts: Long lasting leaves are used by florists. Raised commercially by some growers.
- Alden, P., D. Paulson. 1998. National Audubon Society, Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest. Chanticleer Press. Page 113.
- Cooke, S.S. A Field Guide to the Common Wetland Plants of Western Washington and Northwetern Oregon. Seattle Audubon Society and Washington Native Plant Society. Page 25.
- Gunther, E. 1973. 2nd ed. Ethnobotany of Western Washington. University of Washington Press. Page 43.
- Hickman, J.C., ed. 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press. Page 560.
- Hitchcock, C.L., A. Cronquist. 1973. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press. Page 343.
- Jacobson A.L. 2001. Wild Plants of Greater Seattle. Published by author. Page 124.
- Link, R. 1999. Landscaping for Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press. Page 268.
- Lyons, C., W. Merilees. Trees and Shrubs to Know in Washington and British Columbia. Lone Pine Publishing. Page 150.
- Pojar, J., A. Mackinnon. 1994. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Lone Pine Publishing. Page 53.
- Turner, N.AJ. 1975. Food Plants of British Columbia Indians: part 1, Coastal Peoples. British Columbia Provincial Museum. Page 212.
The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.