Adapting to Taiwan’s extremely varied topography and to its humid tropical and subtropical climate, the family Orchidaceae has evolved a diverse array of species, more numerous than those of any other flora family in Taiwan. Because orchids are elegant, fragrant and tough (able to withstand adverse environmental and climatic conditions), they are often compared to people with noble and incorruptible character. To introduce the beauty of Taiwan orchids, Chunghwa Post has planned a new series of definitive stamps: “Orchids of Taiwan.” The first set will feature four stamps, each showcasing one of the following four species: Phaius tankervilleae, Spiranthes sinensis, Vanda × hybrida and Cattleya sp. The designs of the stamps follow:
(1) Phaius tankervilleae (NT$3.50): A perennial, terrestrial orchid with sympodial growth. The plant uses large and laterally flattened pseudobulbs to store water and nutrients. Its leaves are oblong-lanceolate. It blooms from early spring to early summer. The flower faces downward, resembling a veiled bride, and has a trumpet-shaped lip (labellum).
(2) Spiranthes sinensis (NT$5.00): A terrestrial orchid with linear-lanceolate leaves. The plant favors low-altitude open fields and sunny grasslands. Flowering occurs during spring, when dozens of tiny flowers spiral up its slender spike. Spiranthes sinensis is nicknamed “spiral dragon herb” in Chinese because its flowering spike resembles a “dragon pillar” of Taoist temples.
(3) Vanda × hybrida (NT$12.00): An epiphytic orchid with a monopodial growth habit. This orchid prefers a warm, sunny and humid environment. The name of the genus -“vanda”- means “a flowering plant that grows on other trees” in Sanskrit. The plant relies on its well-developed aerial roots to take water and nutrients from the air. It has thick erect stems and stiff fleshy leaves. It is drought tolerant and can handle a lot of light.
(4) Cattleya sp. (NT$25.00): An epiphytic orchid with sympodial growth. The plant has stout and thick leaves with large pseudobulbs, which store large quantities of nutrients and water and make it very drought tolerant. The flowers are very large and showy. They come in a vast array of colors, sizes and lip shapes. It has earned a reputation as the “Queen of orchids” among orchid growers.
(1) First Day Cover to be sold at NT$2.00 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.
(4) Loose-leaf stamp album page with plastic cover to be sold at NT$8.00 apiece.
(5) Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a low-valued stamp to be sold at NT$5.50 apiece.
(6) Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a complete set of stamps to be sold at NT$47.50 apiece.
To purchase relative stamps, the public can go directly to the post offices, or order on line at https://stamp.post.gov.tw