One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A North American plant of the heather family, with clusters of pink or white flowers and edible purple-black berries.
Gaultheria shallon, family Ericaceae
- ‘Without pausing she went forward until tall salal, wild spiraea bushes and thorny blackberry wands barred her way.’
- ‘‘It was a sea of salal and blackberries and huge boulders,’ said Baxter.’
- ‘Amid that sea of sand, islands of forest appear, dense with Sitka spruce and salal and evergreen huckleberry.’
- ‘The fruit of the salal was prepared by the Indians in much the same fashion as the evergreen huckleberry, the berries mashed and dried in large cakes weighing as much as 10 or 15 pounds.’
- ‘Mounds, called hummocks, are the growing medium though which tangles of swamp laurel, Labrador tea, salal and native cranberries and blueberries grow.’
Early 19th century: from Chinook Jargon sallal.
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