Five iconic New Zealand native trees will be featured on five gummed stamps to be issued 1 February 2012.
Each of the beautiful species is depicted in a detailed illustrative style and the scientific name of each species is included in the design.
The individual stamps in this issue are as follows:
60c – P?hutukawa
The p?hutukawa is a species of Metrosideros, and is often referred to as the New Zealand Christmas tree due to its display of bright red, pollen-producing stamens in summer. The undersides of the leaves and flower buds are densely furry with white hairs. Although it is widely cultivated throughout the country, in nature it is restricted to the northern North Island, mostly in costal habitats.
$1.20 – Cabbage Tree
The cabbage tree (Cordyline australis) or tï kouka is found throughout New Zealand in moist soils and swamps. It is a tall, much-branched tree, and has long, narrow leaves with many parallel veins. The abundant small white flowers are attached to the branching stems of large inflorescences, and the fruits are white to purple berries.
$1.90 – K?whai
The vibrant k?whai tree is most conspicuous in spring, with its large golden-yellow flowers. Its flowers are bird pollinated and the petals are arranged in a sort of tube to contain a sufficient quantity of nectar. Sophora microphylla is widespread and grows near streams and at lake edges.
$2.40 – N?kau
The n?kau (Rhopalostylis) is the furthest south palm in the Southern Hemisphere. It is impressive in height, and the top of the trunk is crowned by a spreading cluster of enormous leaves divided into leaflets. Flower clusters arise below the crown of leaves and form bright red berries. Where the n?kau is plentiful it gives the feeling of a tropical forest.
$2.90 – M?nuka
The m?nuka (Leptospermum scoparium) is a widespread shrub that sometimes grows to a small tree. Its leaves are very small and quite sharply pointed, and it is abundant with small white flowers (although pink and red varieties are cultivated). The m?nuka is well known for the dark, strongflavoured honey it produces.