State Flower Series: Massachusetts Mayflower

by Details Flowers ● 11 October ● Just For Fun

MAYFLOWER (Epigaea repens), also known as ground laurel or trailing arbutus, has ovate hairy leaves and fragrant, pink or white, five-petaled blooms that bloom in the spring. It prefers sandy or rocky soil and grows under or near evergreens in the forests. On May 1, 1918, the General Court designated it as the Commonwealth's official flower. Unfortunately, it has been on the endangered species list since 1925.

According to some, the mayflower was called after the month of May. It's possible that it was named after the ship that transported the pilgrims to the shores of Massachusetts. However, the Mayflower, the Pilgrims' ship, was named after the Hawthorn, which is known as Mayflower in England.


Pale pink or white are the colors of Mayflowers. Each Mayflower has a tiny tube with five flared lobes at the end. Mayflower lobes develop in a little terminal and upper axillary clusters and are about 1/2 inch long. Mayflower blossoms are waxy, sweet-scented flowers that get sweeter with age. Mayflower blooms in small, dense clusters in the axils of the leaves and at the tips of the stems. The leaves typically obscure the Mayflower blooms, especially early in the season.

Mayflower is a belly plant, which means that in order to get a true moment of placing eye and nose to the beauty and fragrance, one must lie down on one's stomach. Mayflower plant leaves are elliptical or oblong, with an entire edge and a rounded or heart-shaped base, they are alternate, evergreen, leathery, and oval or oddly shaped. The flower has tiny fleshy fruit with a five-chambered, many-seeded capsule that splits open when fully mature. The seeds are then dispersed by ants. The blooming season is only from March to May. 


Spooky Facts about Massachusetts

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Dogtown, on the North Shore, is an abandoned village from the late 1600s. It was originally a bustling village, but after the War of 1812, the population plummeted, and abandoned dwellings became overrun with vagrants and stray dogs. Local traditions claim that in the 1800s, a coven of witches ruled the squalid town. Large stones etched with inspirational (and rather creepy) sayings now cover the region.


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Emerson College's Cutler Majestic Theatre is one of the state's most opulently decorated theaters, as well as one of the country's oldest. It's also said to be the abode of a few active spirits. The spirits of a local mayor who died during a performance, a married couple who watch performances but depart before the second act, and a young kid who can be heard sobbing just out of sight are said to haunt the theater, which was built in 1903.


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The Ghosts & Gravestones midnight "frightseeing" tour takes you to all of Boston's most haunted locations. You'll see the eerie hunting grounds of infamous serial killers, "meet" the victims of horrific tragedies and be taken through graveyards and a posh haunted hotel.


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The USS Salem is known for being one of the most haunted ships in the world, in addition to having a witchy name. In 1953, the ship aided in the relief of earthquake victims in Greece. As survivors of the accident began to die on board, bodies were piled to the ceiling in vast compartments in the ship's belly. The ship is now open for tours and transforms into a terrifying haunted house during the Halloween season.


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For obvious reasons, this house is known as "The Witch House." It is the sole extant building with clear ties to the terrible Salem witch trials. It was previously owned by Judge Jonathan Corwin, one of the judges who sent condemned witches to the gallows, and dates back to 1675. The residence, which is open to the public, is claimed to be haunted by the furious spirits of those killed during the trials.

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