The delicate pink mayflower, blooming in the forest glades of early spring, signified Nova Scotia's coming of age. As far back as 1820, the mayflower emerged as a native patriotic symbol, suggesting high achievement in the face of adversity.
The humble evergreen from the native countryside literally blossoms amid the last remaining snows of winter. From the 1830s through the end of the century, the emblematic mayflower was celebrated in songs, poetry and political oratory. It graced the Lieutenant Governor's chain of state, the stamps and coins of the Province, and the decorative brass of its Militia. Citizens displayed it on lapels, and banners, and at least two newspapers were named for the mayflower.
In 1901, by an Act of the Legislature, the Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens), commonly known as the mayflower, was declared to be the floral emblem of Nova Scotia, and to have been so from time immemorial.