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New Zealand Post - official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

2019 Native Alpine Flora

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For many years, the origins of New Zealand’s native alpine flora were shrouded in mystery. At a youthful 2-10 million years old, New Zealand’s alpine areas are comparatively new, formed well after the break-up of Gondwanaland. Before shifting tectonic plates heaved much of New Zealand’s terrain into colder altitudes, the landscape was largely low-lying and warm.

Issue information

Although scientists haven’t yet told all their stories, New Zealand’s alpine plants appear to be much younger than the land mass, representing rapid and spectacular evolution and diversification.

Botanists have evidence that immigrant ancestors of alpine plants dispersed to New Zealand quite recently from Australia, New Guinea and South America. Some might have come from or via Antarctica, which was home to rich flora only a few million years ago. Equally adventurously, other species appear to have evolved from native lowland plants that adapted to alpine environments as the landscape shifted.

Native Alpine Flora explores just six of the 600 flowering species found on New Zealand’s mountains between the tree line and permanent snow.

Miniature Sheet and First Day Covers

The miniature sheet featured an illustrated mountain landscape evoking the Southern Alps, where many of New Zealand’s unique alpine plant species can be found. The first day covers displayed continuations of this illustration.

Presentation Pack

This pack taught you more about the phenomenal evolution of New Zealand’s native alpine flora. You could discover the unique characteristics of New Zealand’s most intrepid plants, and the story of their rapid and spectacular evolution and diversification.

Product Listing for 2019 Native Alpine Flora

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single $1.20 'Mountain buttercup (Ranunculus insignis)' gummed stamp.

This plant is found in the North and South Islands in subalpine regions, and on the Kaikōura coast. Its yellow flowers measure 2-5cm across and the dark green leaves have hairy, toothed edges.

$1.20
Single Stamp

Single $1.20 'Penwiper plant (Notothlaspi rosulatum)' gummed stamp.

The penwiper plant thrives in inhospitable South Island scree slopes. Hard to spot when not in bloom, it produces sweet-smelling white blossoms that surround a central stalk.

$1.20
Single Stamp

Single $1.20 'Black scree button daisy (Leptinella atrata subsp. atrata)' gummed stamp.

Found in open screes from North Canterbury to North Otago, the is plant is unusual among New Zealand native alpine flora due to the attractive, dark purple hue of its flowers.

$1.20
Single Stamp

Single $2.40 'Woollyhead (Craspedia incana)' gummed stamp.

This rosette forming, summer-flowering daisy is found on the alpine screes of eastern Marlborough and Canterbury. Its flower heads are yellow and the foliage is covered in thick felt-like hairs.

$2.40
Single Stamp

Single $3.00 'Mt Cook lily (Ranunculus lyallii)' gummed stamp.

One of New Zealand’s most well-recognised alpine plants, the world’s largest buttercup can grow over one metre tall.

$3.00
Single Stamp

Single $3.60 'Moss-dwelling forget-me-not (Myosotis bryonoma)' gummed stamp.

One of three new forget-me-not species discovered in 2018, this plant has only been found in mossy, damp-to-saturated high-elevation mountain areas in Central Otago. 

$3.60
Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled gummed miniature sheet. $12.60
First Day Cover First day cover with six gummed stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $13.10
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with gummed miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $13.10
Presentation Pack

This pack taught you more about the phenomenal evolution of New Zealand’s native alpine flora. You could discover the unique characteristics of New Zealand’s most intrepid plants, and the story of their rapid and spectacular evolution and diversification.

Still available to purchase. Click here.

$29.90

Technical information

Date of issue: 13 February 2019
Number of stamps: Six gummed stamps
Denominations: $1.20 x 3, $2.40, $3.00, $3.60
Stamps, miniature sheet and first day covers designed by: Stephen Fuller, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, by lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 30mm x 40mm (vertical)
Miniature sheet size and format: 140mm x 90mm (horizontal)
Paper type:  Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet:  25
Perforation gauge: 14
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in A and B formats.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 12 February 2020. First day covers remained on sale until 10 April 2019.