Epigaea repens

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Epigaea repens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Epigaea
Species: E. repens
Binomial name
Epigaea repens
L.

Epigaea repens  – known as mayflower or trailing arbutus  – is a low, spreading shrub in the Ericaceae family. It is found from Newfoundland to Florida, west to Kentucky and the Northwest Territories.

Biological description[edit]

The species flowers are pink, fading to nearly white, very fragrant, about .5 inches (1.3 cm) across when expanded, few or many in clusters at ends of branches. Calyx of 5 dry overlapping sepals; corolla salver-shaped, the slender, hairy tube spreading into 5 equal lobes; 10 stamens; 1 pistil with a column-like style and a 5-lobed stigma. Stem: Spreading over the ground (Epigaea = on the earth); woody, the leafy twigs covered with rusty hairs. Leaves: Alternate, oval, rounded at the base, smooth above, more or less hairy below, evergreen, weather-worn, on short, rusty, hairy petioles.

Slow growing, it prefers moist, acidic (humus-rich) soil, and shade. It is often part of the heath complex in an oak-heath forest.[1][2]

Epigaea repens is the floral emblem of both Nova Scotia and Massachusetts.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Natural Communities of Virginia Classification of Ecological Community Groups (Version 2.3), Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2010
  2. ^ Schafale, M. P. and A. S. Weakley. 1990. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina: third approximation. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation.

External links[edit]

Media related to Epigaea repens at Wikimedia Commons