Thursday, May 12, 2016

Welcome Spring Flowers

Trailing Arbutus (Mayflower)

We all look forward to spring flowers.  It doesn't take long for the beautiful colours and sometimes fragrances of spring flowers to make us forget winter.  
Trailing Arbutus (Mayflower)
Mayflowers (Trailing Arbutus Epigaea repens) are one of those special spring flowers.  These are found in woods in southern Canada and northern USA and on mountains farther south.  Here in Atlantic Canada they are found in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.  Blooming in May, their preferred habitat is cool, moist acid woods.  

Trailing Arbutus
The Trailing Arbutus plant is a low, creeping, evergreen plant.  Its leaves are oval and leathery.  Its stem is hairy and woody.  The flowers can be either white or pink and are oh-so fragrant!  They are tubular with 5 petals.  

I sometimes see these plants being sold at the Fredericton Market at this time of year.  That is a shame because these plants are slow growing and should not be picked in large quantities.  This activity should be discouraged.   Please do not buy these plants from local vendors, thus ensuring the longevity of this early spring treasure.

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