Ontario Wildflowers website

Trailing Arbutus
Epigaea repens

Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens) Other common names: Creeping Mayflower, Mayflower

French names: Épigée rampante

Family: Heath Family (Ericaceae)

Distinctive features: Sub-Shrub; Leathery leaves on a ground-hugging plant in the forest.

Flowers: Spring;  White;  5 parts (petals);  White or pink. Early summer.

Leaves: Alternate, Simple, Entire;  Alternate, oval. Rounded or pointed at the ends. Hairy.

Height: A trailing, ground-loving plant.

Habitat: Forests;  Forest.

Books: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: 198    Peterson's Field Guide to Wildflowers: 38, 236    ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario: 252    Shrubs of Ontario: 373   

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: Common in Ontario. Rare in some other places.

Notes: Provincial flower of Nova Scotia.

Origin and Meaning of Names:
 Scientific Name: repens: trailing

Photographs: 172 photographs available, of which 6 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens)

Trailing Arbutus flowers in early May.

Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens)

Closeup of a leaf.

Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens)

Although Trailing Arbutus is technically a shrub, it does not immediately look one. It is one of the "subshrubs". It likes to trail along the forest floor.

Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens)

It can also be found growing in moss.

Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens)

Sometimes, later in the summer, or early in the fall, its leaves may look a bit worse for wear.

Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens)

Here's some fresh leaves growing up from a bunch of dead ones.

Range map for Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)