Index- plants in this Family
Ericaceae / Heaths
Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens)
Trailing Arbutus is also known as Mayflower.

Plant Type: This is a woody herb. It is low growing and evergreen creeping along the ground. The stems are hairy.
Leaves: The leaves are alternate. Leaves can reach 7.5cm in length (3inches). The leaf is entire, coarse textured and leathery with a shine to the surface and usually spotted with defects. The underside is hairy.
Flowers: The flowers have 5 Regular Parts and are up to 1.3cm wide (0.5 inches). They are pinkish white. Blooms first appear in late winter and continue into mid spring. The flowers are very fragrant.
Fruit: A five sided capsule that splits showing tiny seeds in a white pulp.
Habitat: Sandy or rocky woods especially with acid soil.
Range: From New England to northern Florida.

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Daniel Reed

Trailing Arbutus is by no means common. Sites are easily destroyed when disturbed by man or livestock and seldom recover. Where it is established it seems hardy against harsh weather conditions often being found near cliffs and other exposed sites where few plants can survive.

Medical Uses: The Shakers once sold a remedy for gravel (kidney stones) under the name Gravel Plant. Though it has also been used as a tonic its use for a variety or urinary problems is the most common. The leaves contain ericoline and ursolic acid along with arbutin which is a urinary antiseptic thought Foster and Duke warn that it hydrolyzes to the toxin hrdroquinone(Foster & Duke).



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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database (http://plants.usda.gov/). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.
 

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.


Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.



Classification:  
Kingdom
Plantae
Plants
|Division
Magnoliophyta
Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
|Class
Magnoliopsida
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves
|Subclass
Dilleniidae
|Order
Ericales
|Family
Ericaceae
Heaths
|Subfamily

|Tribe

|Genus
Epigaea
Trailing Arbutus

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www.2bnTheWild.com - Wildflowers of the Southeastern United States, Page updated on 1/2/2005 12:24:29 PM.