The generic name is from Greek words, signifying upon the earth. The woody, hairy stems grow flat upon the ground, and throw out roots all the length of its branches.
Epigaea repens. - May Flower. - This beautiful, fragrant flower is found in many parts of the country, and is worthy of a place in the flower-garden; no doubt it will succeed well when grown among shrubs where it will be partially shaded. It is in flower in April. It produces delicate flesh-colored or white flowers, and sometimes is found with light-red blossoms. Mr. Emerson says : "It abounds in the edges of woods, about Plymouth, as elsewhere, and must have been the first flower to salute the storm-beaten crew of the Mayflower on the conclusion of their first terrible winter. Their descendants have thence piously derived the name, although its bloom is often past before the coming in of the month of May." The stems of the plant are several feet in length, generally covered with the fallen leaves. The flower-stems are thrown up at intervals of two or three inches, three or four inches high, producing flowers in crowded clusters. The flower-buds are formed in August. Leaves evergreen.