Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mayflower Sighting!

If you have never had the blessing of experiencing the unforgettable aroma of the Mayflower (Trailing Arbutus), now is your chance! This adorable little flower does an excellent job of hiding its blooms under its large leaves so you really have to look for it, but we have had local sightings!!!

Mayflower is a member of the Ericaceae or heath family, its botanical name is Epigaea repens, and it's related to such popular plants as blueberries and cranberries (Vaccinium, various species), rhododendrons and azaleas (Rhododendron), Bog rosemary (Andromeda), and wintergreen (Gaultheria), not to mention of course heaths and heathers (Erica & Calluna). You'll typically find it in mossy woodland areas that are dappled with sun at this time of year.

Medicinally, the leaves of the trailing arbutus specifically influence the urinary organs. They are diuretic and astringent. Visit Henriette's Herbal Homepage for a more detailed overview.

Be sure to pick a couple and pop them in a little vase on the windowsill - the sweet aroma will scent the whole kitchen! (Remember not to over-harvest the small patches.) Below are a few pictures of this little gem and here is an article with more information about Nova Scotia's provincial flower, the Mayflower.

Enjoy your time outdoors!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for stopping by! Your comments are very much appreciated!