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Salal (Gaulthoria shallon) is an evergreen plant with glossy, waxy foliage that remains beautiful year round. Fuzzy, white or pink bell-shaped flowers droop from the plant in spring, soon to be replaced by bluish-black berries. Hikers who pick the berries often find themselves sharing the bounty with bears, deer, elk, beavers and other wildlife. The berries are also enjoyed by grouse, songbirds and hummingbirds.
Salal berries are used much like any other berries, incorporated into jam, jelly, sauce, compote or fruit leather. While salal berries are flavorful, they are slightly earthier than huckleberries, blueberries, thimbleberries or wild blackberries. For this reason, many people like to mix salal berries with juicier berries.
Salal grows best in partial shade, often reaching heights of 5 feet (1.5 m.) or more. Plants grown in full sunlight may only attain heights of 1 to 3 feet (.3-.9 m.).
Water as necessary during dry weather to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.