White Pine ConePhoto by Greg Wagoner

Fast Facts

  • Adopted the Maine state flower in 1895
  • Botanical name: Pinus strobus (Linnaeus)
  • Also known as Northern White Pine, Northern Pine, Soft Pine, and Weymouth Pine
  • The white pine is also the Maine state tree
  • White pine cone trivia: The Eastern White Pine is the largest conifer in North America
  • Maine Flower Delivery

Maine is the only state whose state flower is not actually a flower at all. With this in mind, the Maine state flower is the white pine cone and tassel (needles) of the Eastern White Pine. Its green and blue-green needles are usually two to five inches long and grow in clusters of five sprigs. The tree’s cones are brown and slender and grow alongside its needles at the end of the pine’s branches. The towering conifer grows abundantly across the state of Maine and has long ties to the state’s lumber industry.

Despite selecting a flower that is really not a flower at all, lawmakers chose the fitting floral emblem because the state was commonly known as the Pine Tree state. The lofty evergreens have long dominated the state’s picturesque landscape, from its rocky seacoasts to its thick inland wilderness. Lumber products milled from pine trees have fueled the state’s economy since the 1600s.

White Pine Cone by Keith KanotiPhoto by Keith Kanoti

To see the Maine state flower, one only needs to venture across the state’s border. White pine trees can be found from Lewiston and Portland in the south to Presque Isle in the north. Besides their ubiquitous natural presence, these pine trees are used in Maine for landscaping and in reforestation. They are also one of the most planted plants in the country and can be found in New York, Michigan, Wisconsin and Canada. Some Eastern Whites can live up to 500 years.

Besides its role in the timber industry, the tree upon which the Maine state flower grows has other historical value. During colonial times, its strong, straight trunks were used to make masts for ships sailing in the British Royal Navy. In addition to producing the Maine state flower, the Eastern White Pine plays other symbolic roles. It is the provincial tree of Ontario, Canada and the state tree of Michigan and Maine. Pine needle sprigs are important state symbols for Vermont and Massachusetts. The Eastern Pine was also dubbed “the tree of peace” by some Native American tribes.


State History Guide