In 1620, the colonial ship named the “Mayflower” landed on the coast of Massachusetts. It is fitting that the state floral emblem is a dainty flower of the same name. The Mayflower was named the official floral emblem of the commonwealth in 1918, voted in by the school children of the state. It is a small, delicate, and fragrant flowering shrub that has unfortunately been on the endangered species list due to its historical popularity for the use of making decorative wreaths.
Mayflower shrubs are low growing and prefer to grow under or near evergreens in rocky or sandy soil and shaded areas. They are considered “belly plant” meaning you have to lay on your belly at ground level to fully see them and to get a good smell of their pleasing fragrance. They bloom March to May. The flowers are pink then fade to white, and they grow in terminal clusters of small, fragrant blooms. They have 5 petals per bloom around multiple stamens. The Mayflower is a trailing shrub that can travel up to 15 feet across the forest floor as it matures. The fragrance is spicy and strengthens over the age of the bloom.