Tropical Flowers on new stamps from Aruba

September 20th, 2013

Tropical flowers hold a special place in the hearts of flower lovers due to their breathtaking fragrance and exquisite beauty. Tropical Flowers are those that thrive naturally in tropical climatic conditions.

The new stamp issue by Aruba is dedicated to tropical flowers and depicts Passiflora, Hibiscus, Lantana, Ipomoea, Amaryllis, Lilium, Allamanda, Canna, Bougainvillea, Strelitzia.

Passiflora species are important sources of nectar for many insects. Many Passiflora species produce sweet nutrient-rich liquid from glands on their leaf stems. These fluids attract ants which will kill and eat many pests that they happen to find feeding on the passion flowers. There are over 576 known species and over 700 named hybrids. The fresh or dried leaves are used to make a tea that is used to treat insomnia, hysteria, and epilepsy, and is also valued for its analgesic properties. Once dried, the leaves can also be smoked.

Hibiscus flowers are large, conspicuous, trumpet-shaped, with five or more petals, ranging from white to pink, red, orange, purple or yellow, and from 4–18 cm broad. Hibiscus flower, bark, and roots have many uses, such as to make paper, shampoo, and tea. The tea is popular as a natural diuretic; it contains vitamin C and minerals, and is also used traditionally as a mild medicine. Hibiscus is also a natural source of food coloring and replacement of Red.

Lantana is a genus of about 150 species of flowering plants in the verbena family, Verbenaceae. Lantana's aromatic flower clusters are a mix of red, orange, yellow, or blue and white florets. The spread of lantana is aided by the characteristic of their leaves, which are somewhat poisonous to most animals, while their fruit is a delicacy for many birds which distribute the seeds. Lantana berries are edible when ripe though like many fruit are mildly poisonous if eaten while still green.

Ipomoea comprises vines, shrubs and small trees with flowers which are saucer-shaped, opening at morning time. Humans use Ipomoea for their content of medical and psychoactive compounds. Some species are renowned for their properties in folk medicine and herbalism.

Amaryllises are at home in the tropics, and are native to South America and Africa. Flower colors go from white to deep red and include some eye-catching stripped varieties. The amaryllis flower is a fantastic option for a variety of expressive gifts. These bold, beautiful blossoms are a symbol of intense beauty, timidity and determination.

Lilium comprise a genus of about 110 species in the lily family Liliaceae. They are often fragrant, and come in a range of colours ranging through whites, yellows, oranges, pinks, reds and purples. Lilium bulbs are starchy and edible as root vegetables as a luxury or health food, and are most often sold in dry form. They may be reconstituted and stir-fried, grated and used to thicken soup, or processed to extract starch. Their texture and taste draw comparisons with the potato, although the individual bulb scales are much smaller.

Allamanda is a genus of tropical shrubs or vines belonging to the dogbane family, Apocynaceae. The yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers are 5-7.5 centimeters in diameter; cultivated forms tend towards larger blooms which may also be white, purple, pink or orange in color. Their scent may be described as delicate and fruity. Allamanda is also notable for its medicinal properties. The leaves, roots and flowers may be used in the preparation of a powerful cathartic. The milky sap is also known to possess antibacterial and possibly anticancer properties.

Canna is a genus of nineteen species of flowering plants. It is one of the world's richest starch sources, and is an agricultural plant. The flowers are typically red, orange, or yellow or any combination of those colors, and are aggregated in inflorescences that are spikes or panicles. Seeds are used as a die, as beads in jewelry and as mobile elements in musical instruments. Canna is used as starch and to make noodles, and also is fermented to produce alcohol. And fiber obtained from its leaves is used for paper making.

Currently, there are over 300 varieties of Bougainvillea around the world. The actual flower of the plant is small and generally white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts with the bright colors associated with the plant, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow. The sap of the Bougainvillea can cause skin rashes.

Strelitzia is a genus of five species of plants. The flowers are produced in a horizontal inflorescence emerging from a stout spathe. They are pollinated by sunbirds, which use the spathe as a perch when visiting the flowers; the weight of the bird on the spathe opens it to release the pollen onto the bird's feet, which is then deposited on the next flower it visits.