In coordination with the 2004 Taiwan Flower Expo to be held by the Changhua County Government, Chunghwa Post is issuing a set of three stamps and a souvenir sheet on the topic of bulbs. The stamps will be released on January 17, 2004, the opening date of the Expo. Cheng Yuan-chun, the head of the Department of Botany at the Taiwan Museum, has planned this set of stamps and provided slides of the flowers.
The general category of bulbs includes perennials with large underground parts in the forms of bulbs, corms, tubers, tuberous roots or rhizomes. Bulbous plants are good at storing nutrients and often produce huge showy blooms. There are many kinds of flowering bulbs, each with different blossom forms and colors. Each is beautiful in its own way. They normally flower in spring or summer, and as their flowers fade, their stems and leaves start to grow vigorously and produce new bulbs. The original bulbs might continue to grow or might shrink and be subsequently replaced by the newly formed bulbs. During fall and winter, their leaves normally wilt as they enter a period of dormancy until the following spring, when they come to life again, growing stems, leaves and flowers.
The designs of the stamps follow:
(1) Taiwan Lily (Lilium formosanum) (NT$5): a perennial with a fleshy white or yellow bulb. It has an erect and slender stem and seldom produces side branches. Its linear-lanceolate leaves alternate and are tightly spaced. It flowers from spring into summer with multiple raceme blooms (anywhere between one to a hundred) that are borne on the top of its stems. Its fragrant trumpet-like flowers are white with dark purple stripes. The blooms have slender filaments and produce a cylinder-shaped capsular. The flower has a wide range in Taiwan. One can see it from the seashore to mountain slopes 3,500 meters above sea level. Apart from its value as an ornamental, its bulb and flowers are edible.
(2) Amaryllis (Hippeastrum x hybridum) (NT$5): a perennial with a large bulb and no obvious stems. It has linear radical leaves and it blooms from winter into spring, with few cultivars flowering in autumn. Its funnel-shaped flowers are borne on the top of its thick and hollow stem. Amaryllis is vigorous and its flowers are beautiful, and as a result it is very popular among horticulturists and hybridizers. They have worked hard to create a large number of cultivars. The flowers come in shades of red, pink, white and orange, and some are striped or mottled. There are large bloom and double varieties.
(3) Freesia (Freesia x hybrida ) (NT$12): a perennial with oval-shaped corms. It has flat, rough radical sword-shaped leaves. In the winter, before it starts to bloom, its stems sprout among the leaves and then start to bloom from the bottom up. The flowers appear in shades of white, yellow, red, purple, pink, orange and yellow. Some cultivars are double.
(1) First Day Cover in small size to be sold at NT$2.00 apiece.
First Day Cover in large size to be sold at NT$3.00 apiece.
(2) Folder especially prepared for the stamps to be sold at NT$5.00 apiece.
(3) Folder with crystal mount for better protection of the stamps to be sold at NT$5.00 apiece.
Folder with crystal mount for better protection of the souvenir sheet to be sold at NT$8.00 apiece.
(4) Loose-leaf stamp album page with plastic cover to be sold at NT$16.00 apiece.
(5) Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a low-valued stamp to be sold at NT$7.00 apiece.
(6) Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a complete set of stamps to be sold at NT$24.00 apiece.
(7) Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a souvenir sheet to be sold at NT$25.00 apiece.