The Q&A Archives: Salal Seeds

Question: The salal in my yard has the berries on it that seem to have really small seeds. Do these seeds do anything? How do I raise my own for fun? Can eating the berries make me sick?
-Jerry Roe

Answer: Salal berries are favorites of wildlife, and they're pretty tasty to humans, as well. In fact, the ripe berries are often collected and eaten raw or cooked into jellies. They're perfectly edible, so enjoy. You can collect the tiny seeds by crushing the berries and straining the pulp through a fine strainer (a clean piece of pantyhose works well). Sow your seeds on the surface of moistened potting soil or sifted compost, then place the pots or flats in a protected area outdoors. I've succesfully started seeds by placing seed flats next to an outbuilding where the overhang kept drenching rains from falling directly onto the flats. Just be sure to water the flats occassionally. New little plants should emerge in the spring after the weather warms, and you can transplant your new plants into the ground after they've developed four sets of leaves. Best wishes with your new salal plants.

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