Salal flowers

Salal (Gaultheria shallon) grows rampant along the Pacific Northwest Coast. Its modern use runs more toward additions to floral arrangements. It produces berries that are edible (though not particularly yummy) and the natives used them for a variety of ailments. Two applications I could use at the moment would be as an appetite suppressant and a poultice to quiet the itching from various insect bites obtained while camping.

salal-2922

Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone. 
Wendell Berry, A Place on Earth

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30 thoughts on “Salal flowers

    • I’ve always been enticed by these tiny little flowers… nothing showy, just very sweet, but it’s the first time I’ve come close to capturing their lovely delicate quality.

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    • Haven’t seen too many mosquitos just yet, but I think I was bitten by some midges or biting gnats. The itches seem more intense and lasting longer than mosquitos. The salal flowers are so tiny, they’re easy to overlook. I think I went several years out here before I realized they bloomed at all.

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  1. A beautiful picture, Gunta! I sympathise about the appetite and the itching. I’m still recovering from an attack of biting midges from a recent hike and I’ve been enjoying the comfort food a great deal too!

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    • I think I was bitten by something like midges, too. The itch seems to last longer than a normal mosquito bite. The wild flowers this time of year are worth some itching I suppose.

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    • It’s so ubiquitous around here that I tend to overlook it until I get up real close. The blossoms are really tiny. The photo was taken with a macro lens, making them appear larger and bringing out the fuzziness. Could be the hiking. Then I need to do some more to keep the waistline in check. 😉

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  2. How pretty they are! They look like little sugar creations

    As for itches, try apple cider vinegar – stings a little at first, but it is quite amazing at cooling things down and you can reapply it whenever you need

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    • The salal flowers are very sweet, but short lived. The berries, when they form, aren’t as impressive, but it’s the leaves that are generally used to add to fancy floral arrangements.

      Tried the vinegar and the sting sure felt better than the itching. Thank you for the suggestion.

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