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A genus of two species, one Asiatic, the other N.E. American. The generic name is from the Greek epi, on, and gaea, earth, referring to the creeping habit of both species. The monotypic genus Orphanidesia is closely allied to Epigaea and included in it by some botanists. The name of Orphanidesia gaultherioides, if this species is considered to belong to Epigaea, would be E. gaultherioides (Boiss. and Bal.) Takht.