Berries on new definitive stamps from Taiwan
Chunghwa Post previously released two sets of stamps on berries on January 12, 2012 and January 17, 2013. Now it is following up with a third set featuring Ribes formosanum, Garcinia subelliptica, Coffea arabica, and Smilax ocreata. The designs follow:
1. Ribes formosanum (NT$1): The plant is also known as Formosan gooseberry or Formosan currant. Found at altitudes of 3,000-3,900 meters on Mt. Qilai, Mt. Xue, and Mt. Hehuan, it is most often seen under stands of fir near Mt. Xue's eastern summit. A deciduous bush, its leaves are broad and round. Its flowers are white with pale green sepals. The berries are oval or spherical and look like little lanterns. When ripe, they are red and edible, with a sweet and tart taste.
2. Garcinia subelliptica (NT$15): Also known as fukugi mangosteen, it is planted throughout Taiwan and native to the southern coast and Green Island. A small to medium evergreen tree, it takes its Chinese name (fortune tree) from its leaves, which resemble ancient Japanese coins in their color and shape. The plant's leathery leaves are elliptical in shape. The species is dioecious, and female plants flower in August and September. The berries turn orange-yellow when ripe, and they are not edible.
3. Coffea arabica (NT$17): Its range includes Hualien's Wuhe, Dongshi Forest Station, Huisun Forest Station, Tainan's Dongshan, Yunlin's Gukeng, Chiayi's Mt. Ali, Hsinchu, and Miaoli. The species is an evergreen shrub or small tree grown in half shade. Its leathery leaves are long and elliptical. It has a white corolla, which smells like jasmine flowers. Its berries are round or oval and turn red when ripe. Each berry contains one to two coffee beans, which are ground up to make coffee.
4. Smilax ocreata (NT$20): This plant is found in forests, shrubby areas, the shady sides of mountain valleys, and humid slopes at altitudes of around 1,500 meters. A vine-like shrub, it has ovate to elliptical leaves. It features axillary umbels, each consisting of 10 to 30 short flower stalks. Its berries are round and yellowish green when they first appear. When ripe, they turn dark red and are edible.