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Ericaceae - the family of plants including the heathers, azaleas, rhododendrons and all of those beautiful berry bearing plants such as cranberries, blueberries and huckleberries. They thrive in acidic soils and temperate climates. Here we can see a very typical ericaceous flower of a heather plant - little vase-shaped, downward pointing flowers with fused petals.
These flowers belong to the salal, aka shallon or Gaultheria. It is native to western North America, where the berries are often usd to make jams and preserves, and the leaves to make a tea to treat heartburn, indigestion and menstrual cramps.
Now,we all know about how all those Europeans bought all sorts of foreign fauna and flora to the shores of North America and how many of these exotics now run riot across the continent. Well, here is a case of North America getting its own back, since salal was introduced into Britain in 1828. It is now forming dense stands of vegetation in many dry heathland and acidic woodland habitats, smothering out the natural vegetation.
For more Macro Monday, go here.
PS Thanks for my nominations - I am now officially a nominated blog for the Canadian Blog Awards. It did take a bit of bullying and the threat of an invasion from the Netherlands, but my name is now on the list. Go me!