Epigaea repens

Trailing Arbutus Mayflower

Names and Myths

Epigaea Greek epi upon gaia earth repens creeping. Arbutus Latin name for European Strawberry tree which has evergreen leaves and clusters of pink and white flowers, for which trailing arbutus was named.1

Natural history / Folklore

First plants pilgrims found in bloom after their first winter at Plymouth Rock. They named it after their ship Mayflower.23 Early in the century collected to provide sweet fragrance for drawers of fine lingerie. Indians made an infusion of the leaves to treat urinary infection.

Fragrant corollas are sweet and can be eaten raw.32

Species List Family Group
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March - May White. Alternate leathery leaves fragrant white bell-shaped flowers. Since it has woody stems it is classed as a semishrub.