Sweetgale (Myrica gale)
Bloom time: April – May
General: Sweetgale is a deciduous shrub (1-1.5 m high) with noticeable brown twigs branching in an alternating pattern.
Leaves & Twigs: The spatula-shaped, hairy leaves are usually rounded at the tip and narrow at the base. They appear after the flowers on this plant.
Flowers & Fruits
- Sweetgale produces non-drooping catkins as a flowering structure, with male and female catkins usually on separate plants.
- Male flowers: 1-2 cm long, yellow with reddish scales, crowded at the end of each twig.
- Female flowers: similar in appearance to male flowers, but are ruby red.
Habitat: Sweetgale grows in wet habitats around ponds, rivers and bogs.
PlantWatch Pointers: Tag a male shrub to observe.
- First bloom: when the catkins on the male shrub first start shedding pollen (3 places).
- Mid bloom: when 50% of the male catkins have lengthened and shed pollen.
This species is monitored in:
- Newfoundland and Labrador
The oil of the sweetgale plant was once thought to strengthen hair and make it grow.