Tuesday, January 11, 2011

SLOVAKIA - Cover from Bystre, Slovakia to Braga, Portugal

Cover with stamp from the issue ‘Nature Protection: Muránska Plain - Primerose (Primula Auricula)’posted on Octoberber, 15 2010.
(Special thanks to my friend Milos Leng)

There are around 400 types in the Primula genus blooming in spring, which is also reflected in the scientific genus name – Primula, which in Latin shall mean early, or the first. This name for the genus was first time used in the botanical scripts already in the 14th century. Primula can be found by swamps and wetlands as well as in the alpine areas. The representatives of the genus are spread mainly in the northern hemisphere where almost half of the species originated in the Himalayas. There are seven species of this genus in Slovakia.
Except for the Carpathian region, Primula is also spread in the Alps and in the Apennines. In the Western Carpathians, there occurs endemic sub-species Primula auricula subsp. hungarica. In Slovakia, it is located in numerous limestone mountains where it grown in rocks, rock slits and on talus. They can be frequently found on the cliffs of Muránska plain, therefore, this species has become the motif of the issued stamps. It is a sun-exposed, or half-shade species. Early in spring (April to June) it beautifies the rocks with its bright yellow fragrant flowers. It blooms so early because floral buds start already in the autumn and they overwinter covered in leaves. Heterostyly is typical for Primula – it means that in flowers there is differently long stamen on the specimen which prevents self-pollination. The flowers are pollinated by various types of insect. Later small seeds are created which are distributed by wind (anemochory). The plant is 5 – 25 cm high. Fleshy, obovate, grey to dark-green leaves are located in the leaf rosette. The whole plant is glandulous, villose and floury. This cover protects the plant against excessive water vaporization, whereby the plant can survive also a longer dry period. It belongs to so-called dealpine species. These plant species during the ice ages descended from the alpine level to the lower mountainous where they have stayed also after the end of unfavourable period due to suitable conditions. Apart from the decorative use, it is also used as the medicinal plant, which is referred to in numerous folk’s names (e.g. kaška, bear’s ear, etc.). It has the same healing effects as the less rare and not protected Primula veris. For its rarity this species in Slovakia belongs to the legally protected plants. This species is also included in the Red List of higher plants in Slovakia and it is listed in the category of endangered species.
Jaromír Kučera

(Source:  POFIS - Postal Philatelic Service of the Slovak Post)

Nature Protection: Muránska Plain - Primerose (Primula Auricula)
Date of Issue: 15-10-2010
Type: Commemorative
Denomination: 2x 0.80€
No. of Stamp in Set: 2
Size: 44.4 x 30.7 mm
Color: Multicolor
Process of Printing: Recess printing from flat plate combined with offset
Protection of the stamp:
Printer: Poštovní tiskárna cenin Praha, a. s.
Designer: Igor Piačka

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