Trailing-arbutus becomes a creeping mat, commonly only 4-6 in. high with broad, oval, leathery leaves. The twigs bear the leaves and are often covered in small, rusty-colored hairs. The flowers are small, white to pink, with five petals and ten stamens.
Another common name for trailing arbutus is "mayflower". This plant was adopted as the state flower of Massachusetts in 1918. The genus name "Epigaea" means "on the earth", referring to the trailing nature of this plant.