Carnivorous Plants on new Australian stamps

August 13th, 2013

Australians have a great love of plants and some of the most unique specimens are featured on Australia Post's latest stamp issue. They are the carnivores of the plant world - Cephalotus follicularis; Drosera rupicola; Drosera lowriei and Nepenthes rowanae.

Australia Post Philatelic Manager Michael Zsolt said carnivorous plants receive most of their nutrients from eating animals and insects, and often look very unique.

"While Australian flora continues to be a popular theme, especially with collectors, we hope everyone will find these plants both intriguing and beautiful."

There are more than 670 species of carnivorous plants found across the world and more than 200 species in Australia, of which more than half are endemic, or native.

Commonly known as the Albany or Western Australian Pitcher Plant, Cephalotus follicularis is found only in the South West of Australia. It has a pitcher or pitfall trap which captures mostly ants, two of which are shown on the stamp.

Drosera rupicola is a tuberous species found exclusively in the southern wheat belt and goldfields areas of Western Australia. Its prey consists of mainly small flying insects such as flies, one of which appears on this stamp.

Drosera lowriei can be found on the granite outcrops in South Western Australia and was named after Allen Lowrie, a West Australian botanist. It has sticky tentacles on its leaves, a useful trap for capturing small insects. A butterfly appears on the stamp, an unsuspecting victim.

Nepenthes rowanae was named after the famous Australian botanical artist Ellis Rowan. It is the largest of the three species found in Australia producing traps that can hold up to half a litre of fluid. Their victims are mostly small prey but also lizards and frogs. They occur only on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland.

The stamps and associated products were designed by Jo Mure of the Australia Post Design Studio, and based on photographs by Greg Bourke, renowned Australian carnivorous plant expert and author (with Richard Nunn) of Australian Carnivorous Plants.