A new set of stamps will be launched by Australia Post, celebrating four lesser known species of native succulent.
The four new issues showcase some of the many unusual forms and colours of this varied group of highly specialised plants.
While succulents are becoming booming business in the nursery industry, not many of our native species are anywhere near as well known. The four species chosen to feature in Australia Post’s new line are spectacular, but gardeners interested in growing them will be disappointed – they’re not at all common in cultivation.
Portulacca cyclophylla is a small-growing species with unusual round leaves found exclusively in Western Australia. It has large, showy yellow blooms that mimic the gravely soils in which it is found.
Tecticornia verrucosa is a shrubby perennial to 55cm high with unusual segmented stems that have entirely replaced leaves – a very clever adaptation to the dry, arid environments it inhabits in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Calandrinia creethae is another Western Australian endemic with attractive leaves that vary in colour from oranges and yellows, to darker hues of red. It grows to around 80cm in width in a prostrate habit bearing pink or white flowers.
Gunniopsis quadrfida is a low-growing shrubby species to around 50cm, found mainly in the South Australian inland as well as Western Australia. It has highly ornamental flowers in white or cream, borne terminally on the stems.
For the diehard philatelists, first day covers, stamp packs and gutter strips are available from the 20th June at Australia Post Shops and online.