categoryZShrubs Shrubs List 
categoryZBroadleaf Broadleaf List 
categoryZDeciduous Deciduous List 

SHALLON

Gaultheria shallon

Heather Family [Ericaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june

Berries: berryZpossible        berryZgreen berryZyellow berryZpurple berryZblack  (edible, sweet)
berry8aug berry8sep berry8sept berry8oct berry8nov

category
category8Shrubs
category
category8Broadleaf
category
category8Deciduous
status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8pink
 
flower
flower8white
 
inner
inner8cream
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ5
 
type
typeZspiked
 
type
typeZbell
 
stem
stem8round
(red)
toxicity
toxicityZlowish

8th June 2018, Terraced Gardens, Rivington Pike, Horwich, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Heather (right lower corner), Shallon (foreground), Bilberry (centre left), Rhododendron (the previous plant invading the gardens),


8th June 2018, Terraced Gardens, Rivington Pike, Horwich, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Shallon (large shrubby sprawl, right lower corner, Prickly Heath (large whitish shrubs half-way up the slopes - another invasive replacing the uprooted Rhododendron which has previously ranged supreme here on the terraced gardens). The lower and greener plants between the two are Bilberry, I think I remember correctly.


8th June 2018, Terraced Gardens, Rivington Pike, Horwich, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Shallon can reach 1m or more in height.


8th June 2018, Terraced Gardens, Rivington Pike, Horwich, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Shallon (most of the foreground), Heather the lower darker coloured covering between that and the white-flowered Prickly Heath.


8th June 2018, Terraced Gardens, Rivington Pike, Horwich, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaf colour on Shallon is either a bright green (newer) or dark-green. Flowers pink on short curving-over spikes.


8th June 2018, Terraced Gardens, Rivington Pike, Horwich, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The flowers appear on the darker-green leaves, which may at the same time bear the brighter green newer leaves above the flowering stalk.


8th June 2018, Terraced Gardens, Rivington Pike, Horwich, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flower spikes emerging from plants bearing dark-green leaves (which have more obvious net-veins).


8th June 2018, Terraced Gardens, Rivington Pike, Horwich, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers pink to whitish-pink, bell-shaped and drooping from short pinkish petioles from the bright-red flowering stalk. These racemes are between 5 and 12cm long.


8th June 2018, Terraced Gardens, Rivington Pike, Horwich, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The flower-stalks look very fuzzy from the in short red hairs they are are covered by. Bee obtaining nectar from flower lower right.


8th June 2018, Terraced Gardens, Rivington Pike, Horwich, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Dark-green and bright-green leaves.


8th June 2018, Terraced Gardens, Rivington Pike, Horwich, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The flowering stalk and pink bell-shaped flowers.


8th June 2018, Terraced Gardens, Rivington Pike, Horwich, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Red flowering stem, flower stalk (petiole) and flower itself covered in short concolorous hairs. Those on the red stem are tipped by small red glands. The flowers are between 7-10mm long and coloured white to pink.


8th June 2018, Terraced Gardens, Rivington Pike, Horwich, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The flowers open out only at the end with 5 short and reflexed triangular petals.


8th June 2018, Terraced Gardens, Rivington Pike, Horwich, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Looking right up their noses. A central single style surrounded by straw coloured stamens.


8th June 2018, Terraced Gardens, Rivington Pike, Horwich, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Shallon has large leaves compared to many other moorland Ericaceae plants such as Bilberry and Cowberry.


8th June 2018, Terraced Gardens, Rivington Pike, Horwich, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are mainly Ace-of-Spades shape. Venation much more obvious on the older darker leaves. The edges are very finely toothed, like those on a junior hacksaw blade.


Hybridizes with :

  • 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.
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.

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. ProAnthocyanidins include 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.


  Gaultheria shallon  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Ericaceae  

Distribution
 family8Heather family8Ericaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Gaultheria
Gaultheria
(Shallons)

SHALLON

Gaultheria shallon

Heather Family [Ericaceae]