Romanian Wild Orchids SI

Romanian Wild Orchids

Romfilatelia, the company specialized in issuing and trading Romanian postage stamps, introduces into circulation the postage stamp issue Romanian Wild Orchids.

The orchids, regularly associated with exotic vegetation present in tropical areas, are also present in areas with temperate climate. In Romania, according to the specialized literature, there are 58 species. The wild orchids in our country are land species, being present on lawns, sloughs wood sides and meadows. Most of the time they are not noticed in the wild vegetation of the biotopes to which they belong, because of the fact that, they are generally small plants with flowers of a few millimeters. Nevertheless they are truly special from a botanical point of view. The seeds have such small dimensions (approximately 0.1 mm) that they can be perceived as dust grains. However, a capsule can contain hundreds of thousands of seeds, which are dispersed for entire hectares of land. They do not contain nutritive substances, thus, the germinated embryo will survive only if it finds a fungus in the land with which the species can form a symbiosis which will last their whole lives.     

The plants blossom after many years of maturation, while any kind of disturbance of the environment conditions can destroy them. Tightly connected to the environment in which they live, the orchids are among the first plants affected by the habitat deterioration and by the daily anthropogenic pressures. For these reasons, the protection is absolutely necessary and extremely urgent.

The Cephalanthera rubra orchid, illustrated on the stamp with the face value of Lei 0.30, has been described by Carl von Linné in 1817 and then by L. C. M. Richard. Cephalanthera is a species with an outstanding delicacy and a suavity, which springs on the woodside among the already dry leaves, in the middle of June and till the end of July. Its spreading is so vast, almost covering the entire country, although the population is reduced to a few dozens of specimens in each of the recently re-confirmed locations.

The Epipactis palustris orchid is illustrated on the stamp with the face value of Lei 1.20. The little puddle, as its popular name goes, has been mentioned by Linné in 1769. However, we owe the full description to Heinrich Johann Nepomuk Edler von Crantz, an Austrian doctor and botanist, of Luxembourgian origin. It grows in muddy areas covered by tall grass and blossoms in July. Although the flower is relatively small in size, it is truly spectacular, having a crystal white indent on the label, as the collar of medieval knights. Recent observations have signaled it in the puddles from the areas of Cluj, Bihor, Braşov, Caraş-Severin and Harghita counties.

The Dactylorhiza maculata orchid is illustrated on the stamp with the face value of Lei 1.60, being described by Linné in 1753 and then by the Hungarian botanist Soó Rezsö, born in Odorheiu Secuiesc. It is a species which is outspread almost on the entire country, especially in the alpine and sub-alpine areas. It blooms from June until the beginning of August.

The Anacamptis pyramidalis orchid illustrated on the stamp with the face value of Lei 2.50, has been described for the first time by the Swedish botanist Carl von Linné in 1817, subsequently completed by the Frenchman Louis Claude Marie Richard. It is an orchid with a rich inflorescence, purple, burning like a torch on the mountain pastures, depending on the altitude, in June and July.

The Limodorum abortivum orchid illustrated on the stamp with the face value of Lei 2.70, has been described by Linné in 1799 and subsequently by his countryman Olof Peter Swartz. This orchid’s spectacular features are rarely encountered at an autochthon species: some specimens reach a meter high, with dozens of purple flowers which can reach 3 cm in diameter. Although it is signaled in the specialty literature in many locations across Romania, the last on-field confirmations refer only to the counties Caraş-Severin, Mehedinţi and Tulcea. The plants spring from the grass like candles, starting in June.   

The Ophrys scolopax orchid is illustrated on the stamp with the face value of Lei 6.00, has been described for the first time by the Spanish Botanist Antonio Jose Cavanilles, in 1793. The species is usually found in the Mediterranean and Sub-Mediterranean areas. In our country we can find it in the South-West, especially in the “Iron Gates” Natural Park. The spreading status is “very rare”. The petal of the flowers from the Ophrys species imitates the shape of insects which they attract in order to facilitate the pollination. Each species is ´specialized´ on its favorite insect, this mimesis reaching the point of secreting the pheromone of the respective insect. The plant blossoms in the second part of May.

On the “first day cover” the Anacamptis morio orchid is illustrated. The species has been described by Linné in 1753 as an Orchis morio. Due to the researches performed by a group of biologists from the Royal British Botanical Garden, made up of R.M. Bateman, Alec Pridgeon and M.W. Chase, in the domain of molecular philologenetics, the name which has lasted for more than 2 centuries, has been changed. Our orchids in the Carpathian Mountains have become a member of the Anacamptis family in 1997. It starts to bloom at the end of May until the month of July, depending on the altitude, on the mountain and sub-mountain fields. It is one of the most widespread orchids in our country. The colour of the flower can vary from white to deep purple.

The issue is completed by a set of 6 maxicards.

Technical Details

Issue Date: 23.03.2007
Designer: Corina Ardelean
Process: Offset
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 36 x 36 mm, 148 x 112 mm
Values: 0.30LEI, 1.20LEI,1.60LEI, 2.50LEI, 2.70LEI, 6.00LEI
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