MESA, AZ — The U.S. Postal Service showcases hidden beauty with the release of Cactus Flowers Forever stamps.
“The U.S. Postal Service has a long history of celebrating Earth’s floral diversity,” said Postal Service acting Manager of Operations and Support for the Western Area John DiPeri during the stamp’s first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony today. “Cacti in bloom have been described as Mother Nature’s fireworks. Their reds, pinks, yellows, and violets bring to life a plant synonymous with an environment where few living things thrive.”
The ceremony was held in conjunction with the AmeriStamp Expo at the Mesa Convention Center. DiPeri was joined by William J. Gicker, the Postal Service’s acting director of Stamp Services, and Ken Schultz, executive director of the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ.
Each Cactus Flowers Forever stamp depicts the floral display of one of these ten cacti: Opuntia engelmannii, Rebutia minuscula, Echinocereus dasyacanthus, Echinocereus poselgeri, Echinocereus coccineus, Pelecyphora aselliformis, Parodia microsperma, Echinocactus horizonthalonius, Thelocactus heterochromous and Parodia scopa. Cacti also may have common names, with some varieties having several different characters in popular use.
The stamps are being issued in booklets of 20. These stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price. Within the booklet, each stamp design is featured twice. Art Director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps with existing photographs taken by John P. Schaefer.
Cactus flowers generally occur singly, although many separate blossoms might appear on a plant simultaneously. Flowering occurs at different times of the year and even at different times of the day or night. Most cactus flowers are large and vivid, with white, red, pink, orange, or yellow colors.