Gaultheria shallon Pursh
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Lydia Dani     (Photo ID #74934)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Gaultheria shallon
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Creeping to erect shrub; stems branched, mostly to 1.5 m tall, but up to 3 m tall and sometimes forming impenetrable thickets, hairy.
Alternate, evergreen, thick, leathery, egg-shaped to egg-shaped-elliptic, 3-9 cm long, 1.5-6.5 cm wide, usually abruptly sharp-pointed at tip, rounded or more or less heart-shaped at base, sharply and finely toothed, glabrous; stalks short.
Inflorescences of 5-15 flowers in terminal and axillary, bracted racemes, 4-10 cm long, the flowering stems finely- and glandular-hairy; flowers all nodding, flower stalks 3-10 mm long, with 1-2 bracts; corollas white to pinkish, urn-shaped, 5-lobed, 7-9 mm long, short glandular-hairy; calyces soft glandular-hairy, about 1/2 the length of corolla; anthers with 4 slender apical awns, dehiscing by 2 large subterminal pores.
Berrylike, purplish-black at maturity, glandular, hairy, fleshy, 5-10 mm wide.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Purple
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Gaultheria shallon

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
219 0 1700
Slope Gradient (%)
23 0 220

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

201 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

CDF(192), CWH(2411), ICH(5), IDF(4), MH(30)

Habitat and Range

Dry to wet forests and bogs in the lowland and montane zones; common in W BC, rare in SE BC; N to SE AK and S along the coast to CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Taxonomic Notes

This lovely BC native has leathery mid green, evergreen foliage on arching stems. The spring flowers hang like tiny white to pale pink bells and are followed by edible black berries that were prized by First Nations peoples. Great for the woodland garden, in dry shade...

Note Author: Gary Lewis, Phoenix Perennials