A beautiful, slow-spreading, long-lived evergreen creeper. The shiny, oval, dark green leaves have a leathery appearance and texture. The plant bears whitish-pink, very fragrant flower clusters from February (in mild climates) through May. Its beauty, fragrance, and longevity have led Massachusetts and Nova Scotia to choose Mayflower as their official flower. The plant has a history of medicinal use among Native Americans.
Mayflower is considered difficult to cultivate, but under favorable conditions it is rugged, long-lived, and can form a dense mat covering sizable areas. Mayflower requires sandy or gravelly, acidic soil. Tolerant of dry, infertile soil, and can prosper on rocky mountainsides or sand barrens. The plant does have shallow, fine roots and resents disturbance. The soil around the plant should not be cultivated, but should be carefully hand-weeded. Mulching with organic material such as pine needles or decayed wood chips is advisable. Avoid covering the leaves of the Mayflower plant, however – it is intolerant of tree leaf accumulation. In the wild it is likely to be found in open or lightly wooded areas, or else on slopes where leaves do not accumulate. If the above conditions are met, Mayflower can form an exquisite ground cover requiring little care.