Flora stamps have always been favourite among stamps collectors, Malta post issued the third set of Maltese flora stamps featuring beautiful flowers of Maltese Island.
The set includes three stamps which depict the Branched Asphodel, the Common Pyramidal Orchid and the Maltese Spider Orchid the species found on the Maltese Islands.
The eye catching flowers featured on the stamps are photographed by Guido Bonett.
Maltese flora stamps series III
# Asphodelus aestivus – Branched Asphodel (Maltese: Berwieq)
A very common plant which adorns our garrigues and rocky grasslands. It has a bunch of underground tubers by means of which it can survive the hot summer when the plant dries up, sprouting leaves again with the first rains.
It is capable of surviving in very poor soils and can survive grazing and fires easily. Flowers mainly from January till April.
# Anacamptis pyramidalis – Common Pyramidal Orchid (Maltese: Orkida Piramidali)
This is the commonest orchid in the Maltese Islands and flowers in late April and in May. Found mainly in garrigues and rocky pastures. The Maltese plants belong to a local race which differs from the continental plants by having 72, instead of 36 chromosomes.
Orchids are highly specialised plants with a complex pollination system; they produce minute dust- like seeds which can be dispersed by the wind and other agencies. Their roots are associated with soil fungi with which they form a mutually beneficial partnership in order to make the best of the nutrients available.
# Ophrys melitensis – Maltese Spider Orchid (Maltese: Brimba Sewda ta’ Malta)
A rather scarce orchid of garrigues, scrublands and dry rocky pastures. It was was first described in 1992. Before that it used to be recorded as Ophrys sphegodes, which may no longer exist in Malta in its pure form. It is a very variable species and is now known to be of hybrid origin with Ophrys sphegodes as one of the parent species.
Flowers mainly during March and April. This species occurs wild only in the Maltese Islands. Orchids of the genus Ophrys have flowers resembling insects such as bees and wasps which serve to attract selected pollinators. Several species occur in Malta.
Title: Maltese flora stamps series III
Date of Issue: 22 January 2016
Denominations: €0.26, €0.59 and €1.16
Source: Malta post Philately