U.S. # 4755
2013 46¢ Calendula
Vintage Seed Packets
Commonly called “pot marigold,” calendula is actually a member of the daisy and chrysanthemum family. Seeds can be sown in ordinary garden soil in full sun after all danger of frost has passed. Calendula grows well in containers and adds a splash of intense color when used as an edging plant. Its petals, which have a lightly bitter flavor and no fragrance, can be used in many recipes, ranging from calendula butter to wine. The plant is also harvested for herbal medicines and to make dye. To save blossoms for later use, flower heads are dried on a screen, turned occasionally until they are papery dry, and stored in canning jars.
Vintage seed packets have grown in popularity over the years. Some people collect them – searching for packets in mint condition, from specific companies or with certain types of illustrations. Their fine artwork is also popular among decorators who frame them for a rustic look. They’re even used by scientists and historians to study these plants’ evolution.
U.S. Postal Service art director Antonio Alcala designed the Vintage Seed Packet stamps. He based these designs on photographs from 1910s and 1920s seed packets. The image for the calendula stamp was based on a seed packed produced for Everitt’s Seed Store in Indiana.
Value: 46¢ First-Class letter rate
Issued: April 5, 2013
First Day City: Oaks, PA – Philadelphia Stamp Exhibition
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Avery Dennison
Method: Photogravure printing in double-sided panes of 20 (convertible booklet format)
Perforation: Die Cut 10 ¾
Quantity Printed: 40,000,000 stamps
Though not an established series, flowers have long been a popular subject for U.S. stamps. One of the earliest issues to feature a flower as a prominent design subject was U.S. #977, honoring Moina Michael, the founder of Poppy Day.