Published On: Mon, Jun 11th, 2018

Flowering Shrubs: Red Elderberry, Red Huckleberry, Salal

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Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa)

The white cone-shaped flower clusters of the red elderberry (also called Pacific Red Elderberry) dot coastal forests in spring. But the bright red berry clusters that last most of the summer give the red elderberry its name. Many a Pacific Coast forest takes on a festive look when these berries begin appearing. The plant grows as a shrub or small tree with five to seven long, pointed leaflets per leaf stems. Children have long made flutes from the hollow stems. They’re found in coastal areas from California to southern Alaska. A related species, the Blue Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa), has flat clusters of flowers in spring, followed by blue berries in summer.

Flowering Shrubs- Red Elderberry, Red Huckleberry, Salal

Red Huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium)

This deciduous huckleberry is a familiar shrub of deep forests and clearings, often growing from the decaying trunks of fallen trees. It is most distinctive in early spring when its pink buds and delicate green leaves begin to unfold. The pink flowers appear nearly round, hanging from leaf axils. By summer it will have bright red berries.

Salal (Gaultheria shallon)

The broadleaf evergreen leaves of salal are used by florists around the world to complement flower arrangements. But while the leathery leaves get the fame in the floral world, the plant has its own flowers as well. The small white bell-like blooms emerge from red-tinged buds beginning in May. They hang in rows from their stems, to be replaced in late summer by deep blue berries. Salal is common in the Pacific Northwest, especially along coastal forest edges where it can grow in dense colonies.

About the Author

- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade. He can be contacted at

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