Indian Flowering Trees

Complete Set of 4 nos of commemorative postage stamps on the Indian Flowering Trees:

861 Flame of the Forest - Indian Flowering Tree [India Stamp 1981]862 Crateva - Indian Flowering Tree [India Stamp 1981]863 Golden Shower - Indian Flowering Tree [India Stamp 1981]864 Bauhinia - Indian Flowering Tree [India Stamp 1981]

Issued by India

Issued on Sep 1, 1981

Issued for : To commemorate the Flowering Trees of India

Designed by : The photographs depicted on the 35p stamp is FlameoftheForest by K. M. Vaid, on the 50p stamp is Crateva by Rajesh Bedi, on the 100p stamp is Golden Shower by Rajesh Bedi, on the 200p stamp is Bauhinia by K. M. Vaid.

Type : Stamps, Mint condition

Watermark : No

Colour : Multicoloured

Denomination : 35, 50, 100 & 200 Paise

Stamp Overall Size : 3.91 x 2.90 cms.

Stamp Print Size : 3.55 x 2.50 cms.

Perforation : 13 x 13½

Stamps Printed : 2 Million each in sheets of 35

Printers : India Security Press

About Trees: 

  • Design to bear heavy stress and strain, trees spread then branches all round their trunks to achieve a grace and balance unequalled by any trapeze artist. Thinner than silk strands and stronger than steel pins, their roots burrow in to crevices in search of nutrients and moisture, and pump them up to the top-most leaves through an intricate network of conduits that make an engineer gasp in disbelief. With clockwork precision, trees notice the change of seasons, come to flower, bear fruit, set seed, and heal their green leaves absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, release life giving oxygen, and synthesize food in the presence of sunlight, an abundant source of energy that man has yet to harness properly. So far, man has learnt only to put an axe to trees. To meet his growing needs he has indiscriminately cleared vast stretches of forest land, little realizing that roots perform an important function as soil-binders. Consequently, wind and water swept away millions of the world’s most productive lands into arid wastes.

About Flame-of-the-Forest [Butea monosperma (Lamarck) Taubert]: 

  • A slow-growing tree seldom reaching a height of 15 meters, the frost-hardy, drought-resistant FlameoftheForest occurs throughout India and is considered useful for reclaiming saline lands. By February, it sheds its trifoliate, hard, leathery leaves. It announces the advent of hot weather by bursting into a blaze of flowers, produced on great, stiff clusters. The flame-orange, red or vermilion petals are covered with soft hair that glimmer in sunlight, contrasting vividly with the jet-black or bottle-green velvety sepals. One of the few hosts on which the lac insect can be reared, it also yields a ruby-coloured gum used in tanning leather. The seed is valued as an anthelminthic.

About Crateva [Crataeva nurvala Buchanan-Hamilton]: 

  • A moderate-sized tree attaining a height of over 15 meters, it is named after Cratevas (Krateuas), a Greek naturalist and physician of the 1st Century B.C.
  • Common throughout India, the much-branched tree with a head of glossy trifoliate leaves looks very majestic when in full bloom from March to May (earlier in the South). The beauty of the flowers is enhanced by a burst of prominent purplish-violet stamens that slowly turn yellow. The bark of the tree is reported to be used as a demulcent, antipyretic, sedative, alterative and tonic.

About Golden Shower [Cassia fistula Linnaeus]: 

  • When most flowers are past their spring-time best, the Golden Shower decides to brighten up the summer morning. It does so by displaying a profusion of 5-petalled golden or sulphur-yellow fragrant flowers, hanging gaily on delicate, thread like pedicles. Draped in streaming clusters of golden sprays, the tree is a striking beauty from April to June. Through never entirely leafless, the deciduous Golden Shower sheds most of its leaves between March and May. The newly formed foliage has a rich copper or chocolate colour. A charming, slow-growing, about 9 meters high tree with a spreading, one crown, it produces durable wood used for making agricultural implements, carts and grain-pounders.

About Bauhinia [Bauhinia Variegata Linnaeus]: 

  • Stocky and medium sized, with smooth trunk and thick foliage it is a beautiful ornamental tree that produces showery, fragment flowers in a range of colours such as lavender, pink, mauve and purple with mottles, splashes and streaks of white and crimson. There is another variety with porcelain-white flowers, often with a mother-pearl gleam. Bauhinia variegata is often confused with the purple Bahunia (Bauhinia purpurea Linnaeus) which also produces variegated (though not white) flowers. The time of flowering is a distinguishing feature between the two. Bauhinia variegata is in bloom in spring while Bauhinia purpurea comes to flower in autumn.

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