Epigaea. Epigaea repens L. Trailing Arbutus. Ground Laurel. Mayflower. Gravel Plant.—This is a small prostrate or trailing ericaceous plant, having bristly woody stems; evergreen, entire, cordate-ovate leaves, and small, very fragrant dimorphic, subdioecious flowers, which appear early in the spring. It is found in the sandy woods or rocky soil, and grows on the sides of hills with a northern exposure. Darlington states that the plant has been supposed to be injurious to cattle, when eaten by them. (Flora Cestrica, 259.) Jefferson Oxiey has found in this plant arbutin, C12H16O7, urson, C20H32O2, ericolin, C34H56O21 (the same constituents as are in uva ursi), tannic and formic acids, and a principle allied to gallic acid. (A. J. P., xliv, 253.) Thal gives the simpler formula C26H30O3 to ericolin. Eli Ives of New Haven, Connecticut, in 1849, highly commended epigaea as a substitute for uva ursi, and we now know that the two drugs contain the same active principles. The decoction of the leaves and stem may be used freely.
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.