This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
The species repens, the only representative of this genus in cultivation, is a beautiful little creeping evergreen, never rising above the surface of the ground, producing freely its long tubular white, and sometimes light-pink, fragrant flowers from May to July. The leaves, of a cordate-ovate shape, are about the size of the common Lauristinus, and are, along with the stems, densely clothed with minute hairs.
Though a native of pine-woods, shady rocks, and stony hills in many districts of Canada and the United States, it has been found barely equal to our climate; and unless the situation is peculiarly favourable, requires some such protection as is afforded by a handglass or Spruce branches during the severer portion of the winter - an indulgence which it richly deserves, as there are few plants more pleasing when in flower, and more deserving of careful attention. It requires a good supply of rough sandy peat, and to be planted in a dry, somewhat shady situation, such as the east aspect of a rockery or a bank partially shaded with trees. A few rough pieces of sand or small stones scattered on the surface will be found beneficial, by preventing evaporation and keeping the soil cool, as the Epigaea is very impatient of excessive drought in summer, its roots being extremely delicate, and never penetrating deep into the soil.