Sunday, November 14, 2010

Orchids of Vanuatu

Vanuatu Post has issued stamp series depicted the beautiful orchid flower such as: Dendrobium gouldii, Dendrobium polysema, Dendrobium spectabile, Flickingeria comata.Pictures of orchid flower are placed diagonally so adding good view side. There are unique stamps.

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Dendrobium gouldii (35),

Dendrobium gouldii found in Papua and New Guinea and the Solomon Islands as a large to giant sized, hot growing epiphyte or lithophyte occurring in riverine forests, coastal forest, swamp forests, beaches and plantations at altitudes of sea-level to 700 meters with clustered, fusiform, many nodes, green stems carrying a few distichous, coriaceous, purple suffused in youth, obtuse leaves that blooms on an erect, to 35 to 70 cm long, axillary, racemose, several to many flowered inflorescence that arise from the upper nodes on mature leafy canes with 7 to 40 flowers occurring mostly in the fall. This species forms kiekies at the upper nodes of any damaged stem and they can be removed when it has more than 3 roots that are 2" long and grown as a seedling. A slight lessening of water and fertilizer in winter is beneficial to promote good plant growth.

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Dendrobium polysema (60),

This small to large sized, species occurs in New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Santa Cruz Islands and Vanuatu at elevations of 1200 to 1900 meters and from the Solomon Islands, Bougainville Island, the Santa Cruz Islands, and Vanuatu were it is found at 150 to 750 meters in mist forests on mossy tree trunks and main branches with erect, 3 to 5 nodes below the leaves, yellow stems carrying, 2, elliptical-oblong, erect to spreading leaves.

Very similar to or synomonous with Dendrobium macrophyllum.The flower of this species is much smaller in size compared to standard Dendrobium macrophyllum.

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Dendrobium spectabile (90) ,

Dendrobium spectable is a warm growing species native to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. The 18 inch to 2 foot long canes produce masses of flowers that look like aliens from another world. The plant is easy to grow and flower if you follow the recommended cultural instructions. The flowers are long lasting and have a honey like scent. This plant requires good light to grow and flower properly.This plant typically flowers in the winter and early spring months but can also flower in late August through October. Each flower spike can produce 10 - 20 three inch flowers coloured in cream, tan, mahogany, purple, and green.

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Flickingeria comata (110),

A common lowland, sprawling, large epiphytic species at elevations of sealevel to 850 meters in Penninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, Papua and New Guinea, Java, the Philippines, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, NE Australia, Taiwan, Solomon Islands, Vauatu, Samoa, New Caledonia and Fiji . Its found on trees in open forests or in small trees after logging . Flower with 7 to 8 noded, clavate stems that branch from the upper 2 nodes and dry to yellow or orange and carrying very coriaceous, elliptic, obtuse leaves and the several, basal, terminal or from the upper nodes of the stem, single flowered inflorescence appear from woody to chaffy, ovate, acute bracts at the leaf axis.

Reference of Flickingeria comata. Dendrobium polysema adopted from “The Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia”.

Fruits of St. Kitts

St. Kitts Post has issued the stamp series feature the fruits of St. Kitts that comprised of 4 single stamps depicted Cherries, Coconut, Watermelon, Tangerines and one souvenir sheet depict Papaya fruit. There are colourful stamps.2007STK0707D0

Cherries (10c),The cherry is a fleshy stone fruit of many plants of the genus Prunus. The cherry fruits of commerce are usually obtained from a limited number of species.Cherries contain anthocyanins, the red pigment in berries.True cherry fruits are born by members of the sub-genus Cerasus which is distinguished by having the flowers in small corymbs of several together and by having a smooth fruit with only a weak groove or none along one side. The subgenus is native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, with two species in America, three in Europe, and the remainder in Asia. The majority of eating cherries are derived from either Prunus avium, the wild cherry (sometimes called the sweet cherry), or from Prunus cerasus, the sour cherry.The cultivated forms are of the species wild cherry (Prunus avium) to which most cherry cultivars belong, and the sour cherry (P. cerasus), which is used mainly for cooking. Both species originate in Europe and western Asia.Cherries have a very short growing season and can grow in most temperate latitudes. The peak season for cherries is in the summer.

Coconut (15c),Although coconut meat contains less fat than many oilseeds and nuts such as almonds, it is noted for its high amount of medium-chain saturated fat. About 90% of the fat found in coconut meat is saturated, a proportion exceeding that of foods such as lard, butter, and tallow.Coconut meat contains less sugar and more protein than popular fruits such as bananas, apples and oranges. It is relatively high in minerals such as iron, phosphorus and zinc.Young coconuts used for coconut water are called tender coconuts: when the coconut is still green, the endosperm inside is thin and tender, and is often eaten as a snack, but the main reason to pick the fruit at this stage is to drink its water. The water of a tender coconut is liquid endosperm. It is sweet (mild) with an aerated feel when cut fresh. Depending on its size a tender contains 300 to 1,000 ml of coconut water.The meat in a young coconut is softer and more gelatinous than a mature coconut, so much so, that it is sometimes known as coconut jelly. When the coconut has ripened and the outer husk has turned brown, a few months later, it will fall from the palm of its own accord. At that time the endosperm has thickened and hardened, while the coconut water has become somewhat bitter.

Watermelon (30c),Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus ), can be both the fruit and the plant of a vine-like (scrambler and trailer) plant originally from southern Africa, and is one of the most common types of melon.The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon (although not in the genus Cucumis), has a smooth exterior rind (green, yellow and sometimes white) and a juicy, sweet interior flesh (usually pink, but sometimes orange, yellow, red and sometimes green if not ripe). It is also commonly used to make a variety of salads, most notably fruit salad.Watermelon juice can also be made into wine.

A watermelon contains about 6% sugar and 92% water by weight also large amounts of beta carotene , As with many other fruits, it is a source of vitamin C.Watermelon is also mildly diuretic.

Notable is the inner rind of the watermelon, which is usually a light green or white colour. This area is edible and contains many hidden nutrients that most people avoid eating due to its unappealing flavour.Watermelon with red flesh is a significant source of lycopene.

Tangerines ($1),Tangerines are a good source of vitamin C, folate and beta-carotene. They also contain some potassium, magnesium and vitamins B1, B2 and B3. Tangerine oil, like all citrus oils, has limonene as its major constituent, but also alpha-pinene, myrcene, gamma-terpinene, citronellal, linalool, neral, neryl acetate, geranyl acetate, geraniol, thymol, and carvone.

Tangerines are most commonly peeled and eaten out of hand. The fresh fruit is also used in salads, desserts and main dishes. Fresh tangerine juice and frozen juice concentrate are commonly available in the United States. The number of seeds in each segment (carpel) varies greatly.The tangerine (Citrus tangerina) is an orange-coloured citrus fruit. It is a variety of the Mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata). Tangerines are smaller than most oranges, and are usually much easier to peel and to split into segments. The taste is often less sour, or tart, than that of an orange.

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Papaya ($10),

The papaya (from Carib via Spanish), papaw or pawpaw is the fruit of the plant Carica papaya, in the genus Carica.The ripe fruit is usually eaten raw, without skin or seeds. The unripe green fruit of papaya can be eaten cooked, usually in curries, salads and stews. It has a relatively high amount of pectin, which can be used to make jellies.Papaya is marketed in tablet form to remedy digestive problems.Papain is also applied topically (in countries where it grows) for the treatment of cuts, rashes, stings and burns. Papain ointment is commonly made from fermented papaya flesh, and is applied as a gel-like paste.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pica Pica - Estonian Bird 2003

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The Estonian Ornithological Society has chosen Pica pica as bird of the year 2003. This stamp has issued on February 2003.

Pica pica or known as The European Magpie, is a resident breeding bird throughout Europe, much of Asia and northwest Africa.It is one of the commonest birds in Europe.

The characteristics of birds are :

Its head, neck and breast are glossy black with a metallic green and violet sheen.The belly and scapulars (shoulder feathers) are pure white. The wings are black glossed with green or purple, and the primaries have white inner webs, conspicuous when the wing is open. The graduated tail is black, shot with bronze-green and other iridescent colours. The legs and bill are black.The adult bird is 45-48 cm long. On the ground, the magpie skips on two legs, and its flight is of quick fluttering wing beats interspersed with short glides. It makes a loud chattering noise, and it lowers its long tail as it keenly observes the surroundings.

Pica pica or the European Magpie is omnivorous, eating both animal and plant material. It feeds on berries, seeds and fruit as well as insects, snails, slugs, small rodents.

The European Magpies are territorial and stay in their territory all year. The pairs are monogamous, and remain together for the duration of their lives. Should one of the two die, the widow or widower will find a new partner from the stock of yearlings.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Spring Flower of Estonia.

Estonia Post issued the souvenir sheet has comprised of four stamps featured the popular spring flowers that grown in Estonian gardens, such as : the Tulip, the Purple hellebore, the Poet’s Narcissus, Crocuses on March 2003.

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The tulip (Tulipa) is a genus of about one hundred species of bulbous spring flowers from the Lily family. The tulip is renewed every spring and it grows many daughter bulbs. The tulip, particularly its bulbs, contains a potent allergen.In Estonia the tulip has been known since the end of the 18th century.

The purple hellebore (Helloborus purpurascens) is one species of the hellebore (Helleborus), which blossoms in our gardens in March and April. The hellebore have twenty species, two species .The hellebores contain toxic glycosides and cardiac stimulants are made from the roots of some hellebores.

The poet’s narcissus (Narcissus po√ęticus), which is very common in Estonian gardens. Narcissuses contain poisonous alkaloids, and several species also contain ethereal oils. The flowers are grown in Estonia since the early 18th century and about 500 varieties are known today.

Crocuses, of which there are about 80 species, mostly grow to about 10-15 centimetres in height. Stigmas of a purple-flowered crocus, Crocus sativus, are collected and dried as saffron. Mainly varieties and hybrids of the spring crocus (Crocus vernus) are grown in Estonia.

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