Fresh Rhododendrons bloom for your collection
March 13, 2009
OTTAWA - To welcome the pending arrival of spring, Canada Post today issued a set of two blooming stamps. With its delicate flaring petals, clusters of vibrantly coloured blossoms and deep evergreen leaves, the rhododendron (Ericaceae family) is one of the most beautiful flowers ever to set root in Canadian soil. But the rhododendron is far more than just a pretty face.
The rhododendron – the name is derived from the Greek word meaning “rose or red tree” - has blooms that can be found in magenta, purple, pink and white shades, often infused with blotted speckles and splashes of colour. The rhododendron is a genus of flowering plants with more than 700 species (of which only eight are native to Canada), including more than 300 which are believed to have medicinal value when used in treating gouty rheumatic conditions. They can be found throughout the Northern Hemisphere, but are mostly seen in China and the Himalayas. It is also the national flower of Nepal.
Stamp designer Isabelle Toussaint visited the 2008 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada exhibition in Kentville, Nova Scotia, when the rhododendrons were in full bloom. The hazy day offered a few brief intervals of sunshine, which in turn provided Toussaint with enough natural light for the photo shoot. “Having worked on many flower stamp projects over the years, I have relished the beauty of each and never become bored,” said Danielle Trottier, Manager of Stamp Design and Production at Canada Post. “As a gardener myself, I have found that the pleasure of working on these floral projects is often what gets me through our harsh winter months.”
The first Canadian stamps depicting flowers were issued in 1964 under the name “Floral Emblems” as a series of 14 stamps for each province and territory that featured their coats-of-arms and respective flowers. Since then, flowers have been blooming throughout the Canada Post Stamp Program as they are a beautiful addition to any mailing.
The 54-cent stamps measure 32.25 mm x 26.25 mm (horizontal) with simulated perforations. Lowe-Martin printed 13 million stamps which will be sold in booklets of 10. The self-adhesive pressure sensitive stamps were printed using lithography in six colours on Tullis Russell paper. They are general tagged on all sides. The Official First Day Cover will bear the cancel KENTVILLE NS.
Additional information about Canadian stamps can be found in the News section of Canada Post's website, and photos of these new stamps are also available. Stamps and other products will be available at participating post offices, or can be ordered online by following the links at Canada Post's website www.canadapost.ca/collection, or by mail order from the National Philatelic Centre. From Canada and the USA, call toll-free: 1 800 565-4362, and from other countries, call: 902 863-6550.