World Stamps

Canada’s new Flower stamps are a sign of spring

Mar 2, 2021, 10 AM
Canada Post welcomes spring early by issuing two stamps showcasing crab apple blossoms on March 1. The stamps depict Malus “Maybride,” a dwarf cultivar; and the pink flowers of Malus “Rosseau.”

By Denise McCarty

The latest stamps in Canada’s Spring Flowers series feature crab apple blossoms.

Canada Post issued this se-tenant (side-by-side) pair of nondenominated permanent-rate (currently 92¢) Crab Apple Blossoms stamps March 1 in a booklet of 10, coil of 50 and souvenir sheet of two.

In announcing the stamps in its Details magazine for collectors, Canada Post said: “The sweet fragrance of a crabapple tree in bloom is one of the most pleasant reminders that spring is, quite literally, in the air. The blossoms depicted on this year’s flower stamp issue pay tribute to two Canadian-bred varieties.”

On the stamps, the white blossoms are Malus “Maybride,” and the pink blossoms are Malus “Rosseau.”

The latter was bred by horticulturist Isabella Preston (1881-1965) and introduced in 1928 at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa, Ontario, according to Canada Post.

The Ontario Agricultural College of the University of Guelph called Preston “one of Canada’s most successful breeders of ornamental plants,” and said of her accomplishments:

“Preston worked with six different plants: lily, lilac, rose, columbine, Siberian iris and crabapple. She developed over 200 individual hybrids. In each case, except the columbine, she crossed existing varieties to produce disease-resistant varieties with abundant beautiful flowers. She named her introductions after Canadian rivers (Siberian iris), Canadian lakes (crabapple), British fighter aircraft (lilies) and Shakespeare’s heroines (lilacs). … ”

Two of Preston’s successors at the Central Experimental Farm, Daniel Foster Cameron and Dexter Reid Sampson, bred the Malus “Maybride,” introducing it in 1973, according to Canada Post.

Like apple trees and many other trees that bear fruit, the crab apple is part of the rose family.

Canada is home to both wild species of crab apple trees and hundreds of cultivars.

Canada Post said, “Gardeners plant crabapple trees for their fruit, their hardiness and their spectacular, fragrant blossoms. While sour to the taste, the tree’s fruit makes excellent jams and its wood is often used for smoking meat and cheese. Crabapples are also an important food source for mammals, birds and insects.”

Designed by Sputnik Design Partners Inc. of Toronto, Ontario, the new stamps feature photographs by Mark Olson. The issue also includes background line illustrations by Marie-Elaine Cusson.

Canadian Bank Note printed the booklet and the souvenir sheet by six-color lithography, and Lowe-Martin printed the coil stamps, also by six-color lithography. The booklet stamps measure 26 millimeters by 32mm each, and the coil stamps are 20mm by 24mm.

The quantities printed are 600,000 booklets of 10 (Canada Post ordering number 414162111), 130,000 coils of 50 (404162117 for the coil of 50, 404162119 for strip of 10, and 404162118 for strip of four), and 70,000 souvenir sheets of two (404162145).

Canada Post also created 7,000 first-day covers bearing a se-tenant pair of stamps and an Apple Hill, Ontario, first-day cancel.

Canada Post reports that it introduced the floral series in 2005 with stamps showing daffodils (Scott 2091-2093).

The series continued with lilacs in 2007 (2206-2208), peonies in 2008 (2260-2262), rhododendrons in 2009 (2318-2320), African violets in 2010 (2376-2378), sunflowers in 2011 (2440-2444), daylilies in 2012 (2526-2530), magnolias in 2013 (2621-2625), hybrid tea roses in 2014 (2727-2731), pansies in 2015 (2809-2813), hydrangeas in 2016 (2896-2900), daisies in 2017 (2976-80), lotus flowers in 2018 (3087-3091), cape jasmine gardenias in 2019 (3166-3170), and dahlias in 2020 (3234-3238).

Canada Post adds that these stamps are best sellers and often used on wedding-related mail, including invitations.

The Crab Apple Blossoms stamps and FDC are available from Canada Post, and by mail order from Canada Post Customer Service, Box 90022, 2701 Riverside Drive, Ottawa, ON K1V 1J8 Canada; or by telephone from the United States or Canada at 800-565-4362, and from other countries at 902-863-6550.

They also are available from many new-issue stamp dealers, and from Canada Post’s agent in the United States: Interpost, Box 400, Hewlett, NY 11557.

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