Definition of sweet gale in English:

sweet gale


  • another term for bog myrtle
    • ‘Plants in the bean family, along with sweet gales, mountain lilacs, and sweet ferns, have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria which form nodules on their roots.’
    • ‘The sweet gale or bayberry family is made up of about 50 species of shrubs and trees.’
    • ‘In this zone females were often encountered perching on sweet gale (Myrica gale; Myricaceae, bayberries) several meters from the shore.’
    • ‘Low over the swamp birch and sweet gale, the broad torment of their shadows fall on the marsh's invisible busy and small.’
    • ‘Scanlon said she was unsure that she agreed with the change of name from bog myrtle to sweet gale, however.’


Mid 17th century: gale from Old English gagel, gagelle, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch gagel, German Gagel.