U.S. # 4750-53
2013 46¢ La Florida
Block of 4
As their ship drew nearer to the coast, the Spanish crew was treated to a burst of color. The deep blue waters they were navigating were framed by a wave of lush vegetation and brilliantly hued flowering plants. The leader of the exploration, Ponce de León, named the land La Florida, or “Feast of Flowers,” which is a reference to the Easter celebration in Spain.
The conquistador claimed the land for his country during that 1513 voyage, opening the way for European settlement in the New World. Five hundred years later, many of the plant varieties de León marveled over can still be found in the state.
Florida spans three agricultural hardiness zones, with most of the state considered sub-tropical. The most typical problem gardeners face is choosing plants that can survive the heat, rather than the cold. Homeowners who landscape with non-native plants face quite an uphill battle against other elements, including inferior soil and pests.
Others prefer to combat the crowding of Florida’s natural habitat by cultivating its native species. Flowering varieties like yellow cannas, hibiscus, passionflowers, and morning glories tolerate heat well, rewarding gardeners with a splash of glorious color and refreshing shade on sweltering days.
Ethel Kessler designed the La Florida stamps using artwork created by Steve Buchanan. The stamps were designed to stand as separate images and work together as one. According to Kessler, Buchanan “brought the subjects together beautifully and broke them apart beautifully.” The 16-stamp pane includes an illustration of early Spanish explorers and information about the 500th anniversary.
Value: 46¢ First-Class letter rate
Issued: April 3, 2013 – 500th anniversary of Ponce de Leon’s naming of Florida
First Day City: St. Augustine, FL at the Juan Ponce de Leon Dia de Fiesta
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Avery Dennison
Method: Photogravure printing in sheets of 160, in 10 panes of 16
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ½ x 10 ¾
Quantity Printed: 92,000,000 stamps
In a poll among readers of Linn’s Stamp News, the La Florida se-tenant was voted the best-design U.S. commemorative stamps.