Trailing Arbutus

Epigaea repens

Trailing Arbutis
Trailing Arbutis

Trailing arbutus is a native, evergreen, creeping plant that grows on rocky slopes.  I frequently see it growing on the eroded banks of roads and trails as I am out walking in the forest.  This time of year, you might find it with your nose first–it has a sweet fragrance that permeates the air in April and May.  In fact, one common name for this plant is Mayflower.

The leaves of the plant are elliptical and somewhat leathery. The stems are brown and slightly hairy. The tiny (1/2-inch), tubular flowers open into five lobes; they can be pink to white, and as I said, very fragrant. Word has it that the flowers are pretty tasty too, so maybe you can add this to your list of yummy trail nibbles!

2 thoughts on “Trailing Arbutus”

  1. Hi. I love your site and your beautiful photos. And your beautiful dog! I just thought I’d mention that ‘trailing arbutus’ is the correct spelling of that name. EH

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