U.S. # 4758
2013 46¢ Alyssum
Vintage Seed Packets
Ancient Greeks inaccurately believed alyssum was an antidote to rabies. However, the plant is effective at attracting butterflies, gracing stone walls and walkways, and filling gaps in perennial gardens. Alyssum is easy to begin from seeds, which should be gently tamped into prepared soil. A profusion of flowers soon appears, ranging in color from white to pink, violet, purple, and lavender. White alyssum is often found in gardens and containers designed with a 4th of July theme. Although flowering plants often require a lot of maintenance to remove dead flowers, alyssum can simply be trimmed back half an inch. New growth will appear, along with fresh blossoms.
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 alyssum stamp was based on a seed packed produced for the William D. Burt Seed Co. of New York.
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.