mayflower

mayflower, in botany, name for several spring-blooming plants. In England the hawthorn is called mayflower, or may in North America the name is used for the trailing arbutus , the hepatica , and an herb ( Maianthemum canadense ) of the family Liliaceae ( lily family). The latter, a common wildflower of northern forests, bears a cluster of small white blossoms and has many local names, e.g., Canada mayflower and false lily-of-the-valley. It is classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Liliopsida, order Liliales, family Liliaceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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