Through the years since the first definitive issue of Pitcairn stamps was released in 1940, the philately of Pitcairn Island has enjoyed a much-sought-after status among stamp collectors throughout the world.
Colours of Paradise
Pitcairn’s proximity to the equator is roughly the same as Hawaii, and gives the Island a similar sub-tropical climate. Temperatures are constant between 20 and 30 degrees which give rise to many tropical fruits and particularly, flowering plants.
The colorful Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia) and heleconias are standout while the Hibiscus rosa sinensis and the Allamandas are ever-present. More unusual is the Anthurium andraenum and the Alpina pupurata, which all contribute to make this landscape a stunning tropical feast for the eyes.
The Hibiscus rosa sinensis is a bushy, evergreen shrub or small tree growing 2.5 – 5M (8-16 ft) tall and 1.5 – 3M (5-10 ft) wide, with glossy leaves and solitary, brilliant red flowers in summer and autumn. The 5-petaled flowers are 10 cm (4 in) in diameter, with prominent orange-tipped red anthers.
Strelitzia reginae commonly known as Bird of Paradise is very popular as an ornamental plant and grows to 2M (6.6 ft) tall, with large, strong leaves. Produced on petioles up to 1 m (39 in) long. The leaves are evergreen and arranged in two ranks, making a fan-shaped crown. The flowers stand above the foliage at the tips of long stalks.
The stunning Heliconia rostrata also known as hanging lobster claw is an herbaceous perennial. This plant has downward-facing flowers and provide a source of nectar to birds. The plant grows up to 2.5M in height and flowers in Summer/Autumn. The pendulous flowers can drop to half a metre in depth.
Anthurium andraeanum prefers warm, steady and humid climates, and its most characteristic feature as an ornamental is its brightl coloured spathe leaf, and the protruding inflorescence called the spadix. Common names for plants in the Anthurium genus include tall flower, flamingo flower, and lace leaf. Its name comes from the Greek words anthos, meaning flower and oura, meaning a tail, referring to the spadix.
Alpinia purpurate – this spreading plant is commonly known as Red Ginger because of its showy flowers. The long bright red tract (or modified leaf) are not the flowers but hold the small white flowers which sit on top. The plant prefers partial shade and moist humid conditions, and thrives in the Pacific where it is recognized in Samoa as their national flower.
Allamanda blanchetii is known as the Purple Allamanda, and is an evergreen climbing shrub that grows to 1.5 – 3M in height. The attractive flowers which have a trumpet shape in appearance are 5-6 cm in width and appear all year in consistently warm climates. The fruit of this plant appear as spiny seed capsules.
“Colours of Paradise” Issue Collector’s Notes:
- Designer of the stamps is Rachel Walker, Wellington, New Zealand
- Printer of the stamps is Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, New Zealand.
- Process used to print the stamps is Offset Litho.
- Size of the stamps is 39.97 mm x 36.00 horizontal.
- Mini Sheet Size is 140 mm x 95 mm.
- Format of the stamps is 6 setenant stamps within one miniature sheet.
- Denominations of the stamps is 3 x $100 and 3 x $200.
- Paper on which the stamps are printed is 104gsm Tullis Russell Yellow/Green phosphor gummed stamp paper.
- Period of Sale of the stamps is 18 July 2018 for a period of two years.
Pitcairn Stamp Issues
(Click small stamp images to see larger views.)
Below is a listing of all Pitcairn stamps issued since 1940 when Pitcairn Island began issuing its own stamps