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05 November 1990
5/1990
Commemorative Issue

Endangered Wild Flowers of Cyprus

Cyprus
The flora of Cyprus bears a resemblance to that of neighbouring continental lands because the island is a bridge and a crossroads between three continents. On the other hand the variety of natural habitats and their climatic conditions give the flora of Cyprus a particularity. In the flora of Cyprus are included around 120 endemic species and sub-species which have developed through the ages in the geographic isolation of the island. The uniqueness of the flora of our country attracts the interest of many researchers and of nature lovers too.

Today, economic development and great technological progress are threatening the destruction of many natural habitats and the extinction of many rare plant species. Cyprus, recognizing the enormous significance of the preservation of its natural wealth, has ratified the UNESCO convention for the protection of world wide cultural and natural heritage and countersigned the Council of Europe convention for the protection of wildlife and natural habitats.

The series "Wild flowers of Cyprus" depicts six plant species of our country which have been taken from the book with watercolours by Elektra Megaw and text by Desmond Meikle, "Wild Flowers of Cyprus", published in 1973. The original watercolours of the book were donated by the artist and are today the property of the Cultural Foundation of the Bank of Cyprus.

Out of these six species that are threatened with extinction the four are endemic and are found exclusively in Cyprus. The plants Chionodoxa lochiae Meikle and Crocus cyprius Boiss and Kotschy have been declared strictly protected.

Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.

Chionodoxa lochiae Meikle  

Chionodoxa lochiae Meikle

:

Rare endemic plant, strictly protected. Division 2. Bulbous perennial of the Liliaceae family. It grows in moist humus-rich ground under pines on 1000-1500 m. altitude (March-April). Leaves usually two, linear, 6-25 cm. long. Inflorescence a lax 2-3-flowered raceme or flowers with uniformly bright blue.

Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.

Pancratium maritumum L.  

Pancratium maritumum L.

:

Bulbous perennial of the Amaryllidaceae family. Divisions 1-8. It grows on sandy seashores about sea-level but suffers in recent years due to the tourist development of the island. It has a large bulb (8-12 cm. long, 5-8 cm. wide) and 5-6 linear long leaves, appearing after anthesis. Flowers 2-6, white, large, fragrant.

Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.

Paeonia mascula (L.) Mill.  

Paeonia mascula (L.) Mill.

:

Perennial many-stemmed herb of the Paeoniaceae family. It grows in pine forest at high altitudes, 1500-1900 m., division 2. It has thick woody roots and a large-leaved stem which reaches 30-60 cm height. It flowers in April - June; flowers solidary, sweetly scented, large, with 5-6 pale magenta-red or rosy-purple petals and numerous stamens.

Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.

Cyclamen cyprium Kotschy  

Cyclamen cyprium Kotschy

:

Endemic plant of the Primulaceae family. It grows on shaded calcareous or igneous rocks generally under shrubs or trees. Divisions 1,2,7. It is a perennial with a usually depressed-globose tuber less than 7 cm in diameter. Leaves broadly cordate. Flowers, appear in autumn (September or later, exceptionally to March), generally a little in advance of the leaves. Pedicels are first erect, but coil tightly from the apex downwards soon after anthesis. The corolla is usually white or very pale pink and the flowers are strongly and sweetly fragrant.

Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.

Tulipa cypria Stapf  

Tulipa cypria Stapf

:

Endemic plant of the Liliaceae family, one of the two tulip species growing in Cyprus and in real danger of extinction. Divisions 1,6,7 in cereal fields or in Juniper forest and on 130-300 m altitude. It is a perennial bulbous plant with ovoid bulbs 2.5-3 cm. in diameter and an unbranched stem up to 30 cm high. Leaves usually 4, the basal sometimes 30 cm long and flowers bell-shaped with dark purplish-crimson colour (March-April).

Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.

Crocus cyprius Boiss & Kotschy  

Crocus cyprius Boiss & Kotschy

:

Endemic and strictly protected species of the Iridaceae family. Division 2. It grows on open rocky slopes on 1100-1950 m. altitude and flowers near melting snow, usually in February. Perennial herb with tunicated corm. Overall height up to 10 cm. with leaves developed at anthesis. Flowers 1-2, fragrant, ground colour white or lilac, heavily stained violet on the exterior.

Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.

Official First Day Covers

Official FDC Endangered Wild Flowers of CyprusOfficial FDC Endangered Wild Flowers of Cyprus

Technical Information

Size: 40 x 27 mm
Quantities:
c5: 300000
c18: 200000
c2: 300000
c7: 500000
c3: 300000
c15: 1000000
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