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Christmas Island Botanical Postage Stamps

Date of issue: 11 July 1990
Designer: Elizabeth Innes
Printer: Leigh-Mardon Pty Ltd, Melbourne

A commemorative reprint of an earlier 1977 stamp featuring an orchid.

Plant: Brachypeza archytas

(the older name on stamp is Saccolabium archytas)


Sage Orchid

The stem of the orchid is hidden by a bunch of aerial roots, the 4-5 leaves are 100-220 mm long. A flower-stem 15-35 cm long supports many densely spaced small white flowers.
It is endemic to Christmas Island, grows as an epiphyte on trees and is relatively common.

The scientific 'visitor' is Henry Nicholas Ridley (1855-1956) who was Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens from 1888 to1911. He collected plants on the Island on two occasions, for one day in 1890 and on a one month expedition in 1904.

The reprinting of the earlier 1977 stamp in 1990 was to mark the centenary of Ridley's first trip to Christmas Island.


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