Saturday, March 21, 2015

Trailing Arbutus

Epigaea repens
A dense, mat-forming, evergreen perennial, reaching up to 4 inches tall, that is native to sandy or rocky woodland in eastern North America ( from Manitoba to Sioux Lookout, Ontario to Lake Nipigon, Ontario to Pagwa, Ontario to Moosonee, Ontario to Newfoundland; south to Iowa to western Kentucky to northwest Florida to Wilmington, North Carolina. It makes a good woodland groundcover where conditions are ideal if planted 10 inches apart. It was rare on the Ohio shore during the 1800s and remains so. In Ontario, it is abundant on the northern shore of Lake Superior, Manitoulin Island and in the central region but has become rare in the south.
The alternately-arranged, leathery, oval leaves are up to 3 ( rarely over 2 ) inches in length. The foliage glossy gray-green to deep green above, hairy bright green below.
The very fragrant, white to pale pink flowers, up to 0.5 inches wide, are borne on clusters of up to 5 during very early spring.
They are followed by a small berry, up to 0.5 inches wide, ripening during late summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 9 in partial shade on moist, very acidic ( preferrably sandy ), well drained soil. It is not salt or drought tolerant.

* historic archive photos

* photos of unknown internet source

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