Gardenias bloom early for wedding season

With about a month before the official start of spring, Canada Post has issued a pair of flower stamps, these featuring the gardenia, to meet the demands of the upcoming wedding season.

The two stamp designs feature the cape jasmine gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides), one of nearly 150 species of flowering plants belonging to the gardenia genus. Originating in Asia, the cape jasmine was most commonly found growing wild in Vietnam, Southern China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Myanmar, India and Bangladesh before being introduced to English gardens in the mid-18th century.

“This issue is a harbinger of spring and a very, very strong seller for consumer mail and weddings,” said Canada Post Director of Stamp Services Jim Phillips, who added this stamp has “a very big print run that’s always among the biggest next to our definitives and Christmas stamps.”

The new issue was available for pre-order two weeks before its Feb. 14 release date in booklets of 10 stamps; coils of 50 stamps; four- and 10-stamp strips; and a two-stamp souvenir sheet. The booklet also contains 10 matching envelope seals as a “finishing touch for invitations to weddings, showers and other events,” according to the Crown corporation’s latest issue of Details.

Known as a way of expressing affection during shy Victorian times, gardenias are today a symbol of purity.

“A swirl of blinding white, the gardenia’s waxy blossom is at once pure and sensual,” wrote gardening expert Steve Bender in a story published by Southern Living, a U.S. lifestyle magazine.

“So intoxicating is its sweetness that raising a bloom to your nose invites you to swoon.”


Typically issued in March, Canada Post’s flower stamps bloomed early this year in an effort to meet the needs of wedding season, Phillips said.

A 2014 survey by Weddingbells magazine found 65 per cent of weddings in Canada are held between June and September. August is the most popular month.

As for gardenias, they’re “one of the top 10 flowers for couples planning weddings,” Phillips added.

“It’s popular with love, too, so we thought Valentine’s Day would be an interesting time to issue it.”

Designed by Andrew Conlon and Lionel Gadoury, of Context Creative, and with art by Chantal Larocque, the stamps measure 26 millimetres by 32 millimetres.

An official first-day cover was also cancelled in Flower’s Cove, N.L.

A total of 800,000 booklets of 10 stamps; 75,000 souvenir sheets measuring 127 millimetres by 78 millimetres; 130,000 50-stamp coils measuring 20 millimetres by 24 millimetres; and 7,000 official first-day covers measuring 190 millimetres by 112 millimetres will be produced.


Since 2010, Canada Post’s flower issues have been released as non-denominated Permanent stamps.

These include:

  • the African violets issued in 2010 (Scott #2376-2378);
  • the sunflowers issued in 2011 (SC #2440-2444);
  • the daylilies issued in 2012 (SC #2526-2530);
  • the magnolias issued in 2013 (SC #2621-2625);
  • the roses issued in 2014 (SC #2727-2731);
  • the pansies issued in 2015 (SC #2810-2813);
  • the hydrangeas issued in 2016 (SC #2896-2900);
  • the daisies issued in 2017 (SC #2976-80); and
  • the lotuses issued last year (SC #3087-3091).

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