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Edible uses


Flowers - raw. Fragrant, with a spicy slightly acid flavour[1], they are eaten as a wayside nibble or are added to salads[2]. Thirst quenching[3].


Material uses

Plants can be grown for ground cover, they should be spaced about 25cm apart each way and form a carpet of growth[4]. This species is probably not very worthwhile for ground cover in Britain because of its difficulty to cultivate[4].
There are no material uses listed for Epigaea repens.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Mayflower is rarely used medicinally, even in folk medicine, though it is a strong urinary antiseptic and is one of the most effective remedies for cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis, bladder stones and particularly acute catarrhal cystitis[5].

The leaves are astringent, diuretic and tonic[6][7]. An infusion is made from the dried leaves, or a tincture from the fresh leaves[8]. A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of kidney disorders, stomach aches, bladder disorders etc[9]. It is of special value when the urine contains blood or pus[8]. Use with caution, the plant contains arbutin and, although this is an effective urinary disinfectant, it hydrolyzes to hydroquinone which is toxic[9].

The leaves can be used fresh or can be harvested in the summer and dried for later use[10][5].

Unknown part


Ecosystem niche/layer

Soil surface

Ecological Functions

Ground cover


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a cold frame[11]. Another report says that the seed requires no pre-treatment and can be sown in late winter in a cold frame[12]. Surface sow and place the pot in light shade, do not allow it to dry out[12]. The seed usually germinates in 3 - 5 weeks[12]. As soon as they are large enough to handle, pot up the seedlings into individual pots. Be very careful since they strongly resent root disturbance. Grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse and plant them out in their permanent positions in the late spring of their second years growth.

Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[11].Take the cutting with a part of the previous year's growth[12]. (This report is unclear as to whether it means a heel of older wood or just a small section of older wood[K])

Plants self-layer and can be divided in the spring but this must be done with great care since they deeply resent root disturbance[11].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Epigaea repens. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Requires an open lime-free humus-rich soil and shade from direct sunlight[13][14][11]. Grows well in the shade of other calcifuge plants such as rhododendrons and also under pine trees[15].

A very cold-hardy plant but it is often excited into premature growth by mild winter weather and is then subject to damage by frost[13]. The flower buds require a period of chilling to about 2°c before they will open[11]. The flowers are deliciously and strongly scented[11] with a rich spicy perfume[15]. There are some named varieties, selected for their ornamental value[11].

A difficult plant to grow in cultivation[11] and very hard to transplant successfully[14]. Another report says that although the genus is generally difficult to cultivate, this species is relatively easy to grow[16].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Epigaea repens. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Epigaea repens.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Epigaea repens
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
partial shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type

    "image:Epigaea repens.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Epigaea repens.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Epigaea repens.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Epigaea repens.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Epigaea repens.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Epigaea repens.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Epigaea repens.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Epigaea repens.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Epigaea repens.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Epigaea repens.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Epigaea repens.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Epigaea repens.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Epigaea repens.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    1. ? 1.01.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    4. ? Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover J. M. Dent & Sons ISBN 0-460-12609-1 (1990-00-00)
    5. ? Stuart. M. (Editor) The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism Orbis Publishing. London. ISBN 0-85613-067-2 (1979-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    8. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    9. ? Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    11. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    12. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
    13. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.1 Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray ISBN 0-7195-5043-2 (1992-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    16. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
    17. ? Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)

    "image:Epigaea repens.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Epigaea repens"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyEricaceae +
    Belongs to genusEpigaea +
    Functions asGround cover +
    Has binomial nameEpigaea repens +
    Has common nameMayflower +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partFlowers +
    Has edible useUnknown use +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone2 +
    Has imageEpigaea repens.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has mature height0.1 +
    Has mature width0.3 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAstringent +, Diuretic + and Tonic +
    Has primary imageEpigaea repens.jpg +
    Has search nameepigaea repens + and mayflower +
    Has shade tolerancePartial shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceVery acid +, Acid + and Neutral +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy + and Loamy +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameEpigaea repens +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Inhabits ecosystem nicheSoil surface +
    Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
    Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Epigaea repens +, Epigaea repens +, Epigaea repens + and Epigaea repens +