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ground laurel,one of the best-loved American wildflowers, said by Whittier to have been the first blossom seen on these shores by the Pilgrims (introduction to "The Mayflowers"). The plant blooms in early spring; its creeping stems bear clusters of sweetly fragrant pink or white flowers that are sometimes hidden by the hairy evergreen leaves. The leaves were once used in making a diuretic tea and were also said to be astringent and tonic. Roots of the trailing arbutus live in a partnership arrangement (mycorrhiza) with a fungus (see symbiosissymbiosis
, the habitual living together of organisms of different species. The term is usually restricted to a dependent relationship that is beneficial to both participants (also called mutualism) but may be extended to include parasitism, in which the parasite depends upon
..... Click the link for more information. ). The plant is difficult to cultivate, and its existence is endangered by the zeal of flower pickers. In its native habitat, trailing arbutus seems to prefer the acid soil of pinewoods of the eastern part of North America. It is the provincial flower of Nova Scotia and the state flower of Massachusetts, where a law protects the plant. The trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens) should not be confused with Arbutus, a related genus (including the madroño) also of the heathheath,
in botany, common name for some members of the Ericaceae, a family of chiefly evergreen shrubs with berry or capsule fruits. Plants of the heath family form the characteristic vegetation of many regions with acid soils, particularly the moors, swamps, and mountain slopes
..... Click the link for more information. family. The names Mayflower and laurel are also used for other plants. Trailing arbutus is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Ericales, family Ericaceae.
arbutus, trailing:see trailing arbutustrailing arbutus,
or ground laurel,
one of the best-loved American wildflowers, said by Whittier to have been the first blossom seen on these shores by the Pilgrims (introduction to "The Mayflowers").
..... Click the link for more information. .