Salal Foliage

Common Names: Salal, Lemonleaf, Gaultheria Foliage, Oregon Myrtle

Botanical names: Gaultheria shallon, gawl-THEER-ee-a sha-LON

Availability: Year round

Vase life: 14 to 21 days

Storage temperatures: 32 - 41 degrees Fahrenheit

Ethylene Sensitive: No

Description: Salal is a compact, bushy shrub with woody stems that grows between 2 to 5 feet tall. The leaves, 2 to 5 inches in length and about 1 to 2 inches in width are leathery and elliptical with a shiny, slightly serrated edge,

Color: The leaves are dark green on the upper surface and lighter green underneath.

Botanical facts: Salal is unique to the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Salal, Gaultheria shallon was named after Dr. Gaulthier (1708-1758), a physician and botanist in Quebec, Canada.

Design notes: Salal foliage is often used as a filler in floral arrangements. Its compact, bushy nature allows it to fill out bouquets and centerpieces, adding volume and fullness without overshadowing the main flowers. The glossy, deep green leaves of salal provide a rich backdrop for floral arrangements. Their smooth texture contrasts beautifully with the textures of flowers, adding depth and visual interest to the overall design.

Purchasing hints: Purchase stems with turgid glossy leaves. Avoid stems exhibiting dry leaves, damaged or missing leaves.

Conditioning: Cut the stem ends with as sharp knife. Hydrate in water mixed with a commercial floral food for two hours before storage or usage.

Additional notes: First harvested for the floral industry in the late 1940s but took about 15 years to become an industry favorite, replacing red huckleberry as the number one florist greenery from the Northwest.