The Mayflower and The Speedwell

Happy Thanksgiving to all FlowerSchool New York students, alum, and teachers! Here’s a little flower knowledge to go with your turkey!

the mayflower

On August 15, 1620 the Mayflower and the Speedwell set sail toward a new world of opportunity and beginnings. Although the Speedwell was forced to turn back to England, the Mayflower persevered across the sea for sixty-six days, many of which were stormy and treacherous, until landing in Cape Cod on November 11th 1620.

The boat’s namesake, the mayflower, is a very fragrant and delicate wildflower with white petals and pink center better known as a Trailing Arbutus. It is of course fitting that this bud is the Massachusetts state flower, but unfortunately it is actually quite rare and was placed on the endangered list in 1925. The flower requires an acidic, peaty soil in a shady place, and seems to like to grow alongside hemlock.

The mayflower may have been a plant sought after by the Mayflower pilgrims as it is said that the dried leaves were used as a tonic and the Cherokees used the herb for treating stomach illness in children.

The ship Speedwell was also named after a flower, a Figwort known as Veronica Officinalis.

Veronica Officinalis