Pale Laurel (Kalmia Polifolia) is similar but distinguished by its two-edged branches, the whitish green under surface of the leaves and their rolled-up edges. It grows from Lab. to Alaska and southwards.
A. Wintergreen; Checkerberry.
B. Arbutus; Mayflower.
I doubt if there is a country boy or girl within the range of this plant, and it extends from Newfoundland to Manitoba and southwards to the Gulf, who is hot perfectly familiar with it. In Spring they search for "pippins," as they term the tender, young, yellow-green leaves of the new shoots that spring up on reddish stalks; the leaves have a very palatable, spicy, flavor, when they first appear. In Fall, children troop to the woods and gather the bright, luscious checkerberries, competing with one another to see who will find the plant with the large-est number of berries; ordinarily there are but two to a plant, but occasionally we may find five, six or even eight of them hanging beneath the sheltering leaves.
The leaves are all clustered at the top of the ruddy stem that grows from 2 to 5 inches high; those of adult plants are deep, shining green, ovate-pointed and very sparingly toothed. Usually two white, tubular, 5-notched flowers hang on slender peduncles, just beneath the spreading leaves, during July and August
Probably no flower, especially in New England, is as eagerly sought nor as highly prized as the early blooming Mayflower. In fact its haunts are ravaged so thoroughly that one has to go farther from the city limits each year in order to find them. Arbutus is a creeping plant; the stems are tough, hairy and branched; they spread out along the ground for 6 to 15 inches from the root. The evergreen, alternating leaves are tough, oval, slightly heart-shaped at the base, net-veined and toothless. The flowers are in terminal clusters, opening in April and May. They are 5-parted, delicate pink and have a fragrance similar to that of the Water Lily. Arbutus grows throughout the eastern half of our continent on shady, rocky hillsides.
A. Labrador Tea.
B. Pyxie; Flowering Moss.
Labrador Tea (Ledum Groenlandicum) is an erect shrub growing from 1 to 3 feet high. It is not uncommon in suitable places in the eastern half of Canada, and is found rarely in mountains south to Conn., Pa., and Minn.; its habitat is in bogs or damp thickets. The narrowly oblong leaves are green above, have the edges rolled back and are covered beneath with a rusty wool. They alternate along the stems the same as do those of the laurels, becoming more crowded towards the ends of the branches. The small white flowers are clustered at the ends of the branches; each has a small five-toothed calyx, five petals and five or ten long stamens surrounding the short pistil.