Hybridizes with :
Although these specimens depicted are growing in an (extensive) garden they do not at all even half-way resemble those of Prickly Heath (Gaultheria mucronata) so your Author thinks it unlikely that they are of this garden hybrid.
- Prickly Heath (Gaultheria mucronata) to produce Gaultheria × wisleyensis which is is the well known Garden plant which has escaped in South Hants on heathy ground.
Some similarities to : Checkerberry (Gaultheria procumbens) but that is a dwarf ground-covering shrub growing to a height of just 15cm with similarly shaped leaves but much smaller at only 2-5cm (as against 5-10cm for Shallon), the flowers are in singles in the leaf axils and on hairy (but not glandular hairy as on Shallon) flower pedicels (aka flower stalks).
Uniquely identifiable characteristics
Distinguishing Feature :
The berries are blackish-blue with a white sheen which probably easily rubs off. They are edible and can be used in the making of jams, preserves and pies, and are quite sweet rather than tart. The berries are rich in the colourful compounds, the anthocyanin
Delphinidin 3-O-Galactoside being the dominant one, plus
ProCyanidins, including ProCyanidin A2.
ProDelphinidin at 60% of the
ProAnthoCyanidin content, being higher than the amounts in similar Vaccinium species such as
Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), Cowberry (aka Lingonberry) (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) and Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos).
ProDelphinidin is the name for a group of polymeric
Tannins composed of
GalloCatechin which under oxidative conditions depolymerises yielding Delphinidin. There are many arrangements of
GalloCatechins which are grouped under the name ProDelphinidin, differentiated by suffixes such as A2, B1, B2, B3, B4, B9, C2, etc.
The plants are introduced and planted as cover for game, but here on the terraced garden, as replacement for galloping Rhododendron bushes which had fully overtaken the gardens from the 1970's onwards but now scrubbed up in about 2014-2015, leaving but one atop the hillside to again perpetrate its rampant spreading. But Shallon itself is capable of spreading, and looks like it has done so here, as can Prickly Heath (Gaultheria mucronata) which has also been planted here in the terraced gardens and which also seems capable of spreading by itself.
It is not a native plant but an introduction. It grows on peat and on sandy soils and in woodland and shrubbery.
The Gaultheria genera (which includes Shallon) contain Methyl Salicylate plus two differing glycosides of Methyl Salicylate (one called
Gaultherin) and a glucoside of the similar molecule
Shallon berries also contain the following acids:
p-Coumaric Acid, Caffeic Acid, Sinapic Acid,