(Plate CVI.)

Family

Heath.

Colour

White or fink.

Odour

Fragrant.

Range

New England and New Jersey.

Time of Bloom

March-May.

Flowers: growing in terminal clusters. Calyx: of five, green pointed sepals. Corolla: tubular; with five spreading lobes; within hairy. Stamens: six to ten; included; anthers, yellow. Pistil: one; stigma, five-lobed. Leaves: alternate on hairy stalks; cordate; entire; evergreen. Stem: prostrate; branching; woody; hairy.

Thoreau says: "I love nature, I love the landscape because it is so sincere. It never cheats me, it never jests; it is cheerfully, musically earnest." It is so with the arbutus, a faithful little sweetheart. Even to those that live in large cities the browned, faded bunches, tied with wet strings and peddled by sad-eyed little boys, have the power to kindle a gleam of joy in the heart; but to those that live in the quietude of the country and watch the changing of the seasons by the position of the sun's reflection upon their sidewalls, the coming of the arbutus is an event in the year. It never disappoints its seekers. As soon as the winter's covering of snow has faded away and only little melting patches are seen sparingly about; the dried leaves may be pushed aside and the sweet, pink face snuggling so cosily among its green leaves has a fragrant welcome to bestow. Stern and grave as were the Pilgrim fathers, they loved it dearly; for as Whittier tells in his beautiful poem, it was the first blossom to greet them after their winter of suffering. In New England, where it grows abundantly, and especially about Plymouth, it is called Mayflower.

"O sacred flower of faith and hope, As sweetly now and then Ye bloom on many a birchen slope, In many a pine-dark glen."

Trailing Arbutus Mayflower Ground Laurel Epigaea r 181