Annual flower issue a perennial favourite with gardeners, engaged couples
Canada Post is once again marking spring’s return with its annual flower stamp issue, which is slated for release tomorrow.
This year, the focus is on aquatic blooms with two domestic-rate Permanent stamps featuring two varieties of lotus.
“With burgeoning blooms and budding bushes, spring awakens the senses – and these brilliant new stamp issues are sure to do the same,” wrote Canada Post Director of Stamp Services Jim Phillips in the latest issue of Details magazine.
“Two alluring aquatics break ground with our flower series: the sacred lotus and the American lotus. Both perennials are popular in Canada – the former commonly cultivated and the latter a rare and threatened species that grows wild in southern Ontario. Have a closer look at this pair, as some hard-to-spot visitors are hiding in the background.”
TWO LOTUS FLOWERS
The only lotus indigenous to this continent, the American lotus (Nelumbo lutea) has a creamy yellow flower and needs warmth and sunshine. The rare and threatened species grows at its northern limit along the shores of Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair in southern Ontario. It is also found in wetlands across most of the eastern U.S. and as far south as Honduras.
The sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), which bears delicate pink and white petals, is the national flower of India and has deep religious significance for Buddhists and Hindus. Native to the tropical and warm-temperate regions of Asia and Australia, this lotus is cultivated in North America and can become wild.
Stamp designers Gary Beelik and Kristine Do, of Toronto’s Parcel Design, used watercolour portraits by Eunike Nugroho to depict different bloom phases in a pair of se-tenant stamps. The blue background evokes a watery habitat while a spot gloss varnish reveals a Chinese Bulbul bird, a koi fish and a dragonfly, all of which share their environment with lotuses.
Because this annual issue is popular for wedding invitations and stationery, the stamps are available in booklets of 10 – with two of each design – or coils of 50 offering 25 of each design. The booklet stamps measure 26 mm by 32 mm while the coils measure 24 mm by 20 mm.
A two-stamp souvenir sheet is available for collectors along with strips of four and 10 stamps from the coil. The souvenir sheet measures 120 mm by 84 mm.
An official first-day cover featuring both stamps will be cancelled in Waterdown, Ont. It measures 190 mm by 112 mm.
The stamps were designed by Parcel Design and printed by the Lowe-Martin Group using five-colour lithography plus varnish, polyvinyl acetate (PVA) gum and tagging on three sides.
First issued in 2002, Canada Post’s flowers series is available in a self-adhesive booklet as well as a perforated souvenir sheet. The first set included 48-cent tulip stamps with four designs (Scott #1946-47). Three years later, a set of 50-cent daffodil stamps (SC #2091-93) were issued, followed by 52-cent lilac stamps (SC #2206-08) in 2007. Since 2008, the flowers series has been issued annually. That year, a set of 52-cent peonies stamps (SC #2260-62) were issued, and the following year, rhododendrons were featured on a set of 54-cent stamps (SC #2318-20). Since 2010, the series was issued in the form of non-denominated Permanent stamps. African violets were featured in 2010 (SC #2376-2378), followed by sunflowers in 2011 (SC #2440-2444), daylilies in 2012 (SC #2526-30), magnolias in 2013 (SC #2621-25), hybrid tea roses in 2014 (SC #2727-31), pansies in 2015 (SC #2810-13), hydrangeas in 2016 (SC #2896-00) and daisies last year (SC #2976-80).
CNIB 100th ANNIVERSARY
On March 21, Canada Post will also issue a commemorative envelope marking the 100th anniversary of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).
It has been a century of change for the CNIB in helping Canadians who are blind or partially sighted live full and independent lives. The commemorative envelope celebrates that achievement with photos from the organization’s past and present, including a short braille message embossed on the front of the envelope to mark the CNIB’s foundation in 1918.