Maine State Flower
White Pine Cone (common name)
Pinus strobus (scientific name)
The white pine cone became Maine's state flower on February 1, 1895, even though it isn’t actually a flower. Maine is called "The Pine Tree State," so it was considered an appropriate choice. The state flag and seal center around the image of a pine tree. The eastern white pine is among the largest trees the northeastern United States, often visible above other trees in diverse forests. The tree usually blooms in late spring, though flowering time varies depending on how warm the climate is. The tree makes small red inconspicuous flowers.
The cone, though designated a state flower, is actually kind of seed pod. Fertilization takes place roughly 13 months after flowers are pollinated, and cones typically mature the next year, in August or September, and let their seeds fall one month later. Trees start making cones when they’re between five and 10 years old, though they don’t make many seeds until they’re between 20 and 30. The long, narrow cones start out green, turning yellowish green or light brown when mature. They vary in size, but are usually long, narrow, and slightly curved. A cone's scales are quite thin and have no bristles. White pines generally grow best in well-drained earth and cool, humid climates, but sometimes survive on damp areas and rocky highlands.
Plant: Tall, roughly triangular tree with cones near the branches’ tips
Mature Height: 160–188.8 ft (50–57.55 m)
Flowering: Flowers in early spring; cones develop over the next two years
Flowers: 4–8 in (10–20 cm) long
Flower Color: Yellowish green to light brown
Leaves: 2–5 in (5–13 cm) needles in clumps of 5
Fruit/Seed Color: Brown
Location: In forests, sea level to 1,500 ft (460 m)
Range: From the U.S. and Canadian East Coast across the southern part of eastern and central Canada, south into southeastern Minnesota and the northeastern part of Iowa, and further south in the Appalachian Mountains to the northern part of Georgia and South Carolina. It also occurs in western Kentucky, Tennessee, and Delaware.
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|Author: World Trade Press|