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Hero of the Forest Floor

By Continental Floral Greens • Winter 2020

With its deep sprawling rhizome root system, Salal, Gaultheria shallon, aka Lemon Leaf, is a common plant that can dominate the understory of the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Unique to being native to the Pacific Northwest, this plant has been used in floral arrangements as a filler for over a hundred years and its use has spread beyond the United States to both Europe and Asia. Bringing visual weight, vibrant color, and classic appeal to an arrangement any time of the year, Salal is one of our most popular and versatile greens.

Salal’s glossy dark green leaves are known for their toughness and durability. Aside from its natural beauty and utility in floral work, Salal is equally known for its long life, both in a vase or in storage conditions.

Although we offer Salal year-round, from June through August during soft-season Salal is not harvested. During these months we store this hearty green (harvested in optimal conditions) in our coolers so that your business does not lack the staple green during the summer months.

There are many factors that contribute to stored product and its price.

From late April through June, the amount of warm spring days and rainfall determines how much growth an average the plant will put on.

  • If a spring is cold and dry, we see very poor length and number of new shoots per stem.
  • If a spring is warm and we experience lots of rainfall, Salal can grow exceptionally. We like these years!

A second weather event, that also causes disruption and influences price, is snow. Western Washington and Oregon typically do not experience long weeks of snowy weather, but there are years like 2019 where snow fell and disrupted harvesting for over three weeks.

The pricing of Salal for an entire year really begins with the weather we experience in spring. Less growth causes higher prices and more scarcity late in the season as the harvesting areas are depleted.

Continental Floral Greens has been storing Salal for off-season post Mother’s Day needs for over thirty years. Our experience has given us the knowledge of how to keep a quality product that maintains its freshness in optimum conditions. We lease and maintain hundreds of thousands of forested acres for harvesting, maintain a robust labor pool, and have over 60,000 square feet of cold storage. We dedicate a large portion of resources and planning to create a program to be able to fulfill our customers Salal needs year-round.

Want to learn more about Salal Storage? Contact your sales representative for forecasted pricing and to lock in your storage numbers for the season. Please keep in mind, Salal pricing will be market price at time of shipping. Our forecasted pricing is based on historical trends, and the price can fluctuate both up or down. We only harvest what is needed for our customers during the soft season, so do not delay.

By Continental Floral Greens