Almost all cacti are native to the Americas, ranging from British Columbia and Alberta in Canada to the southern regions of Argentina and Chile. The southwestern U.S. and Mexico are home to the greatest variety and abundance of cacti.
Cacti are among America’s most popular houseplants. Most cacti grow very slowly and are tough, adaptable and low maintenance. Several botanic gardens in the U.S. showcase the wide variety and stunning beauty of these plants. When cacti bloom, visitors experience a vivid floral display. Cactus flowers generally occur singly, although many separate blossoms might appear on a plant at the same time. Most cactus flowers are large and flamboyant with colours of white, red, pink, orange or yellow. Some flowers are also richly scented, and the nectar and colours attract pollinators such as bats, bees and birds.
The “Cactus Flowers” set will be issued in booklets of 20 stamps, which will feature:
- Opuntia engelmannii;
- Rebutia minuscula;
- Echinocereus dasyacanthus;
- Echinocereus poselgeri;
- Echinocereus coccineus;
- Pelecyphora aselliformis;
- Parodia microsperma;
- Echinocactus horizonthalonius;
- Thelocactus heterochromus; and
- Parodia scopa.
The booklets will include each cactus design twice.
Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps with existing photographs taken by John Schaefer, a co-founder – along with Ansel Adams – of the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona.
Followers of the USPS Facebook page can watch the Feb. 15 ceremony live at facebook.com/USPS.