gale is a species of flowering plant in the genus Myrica, native to northern and
western Europe and parts of northern North America. It is a deciduous shrub
growing to 1-2 m tall. Common names include Bog Myrtle and Sweet Gale. The
leaves are spirally arranged, simple, 2-5 cm long, oblanceolate with a tapered
base and broader tip, and a crinkled or finely toothed margin. The flowers are
catkins, with male and female catkins on separate plants (dioecious). The fruit
is a small drupe.
Male plant with catkins in winter. It typically grows in acidic peat bogs, and to cope with these difficult nitrogen-poor growing conditions, the roots have nitrogen-fixing actinobacteria which enable the plants to grow.