U.S. # 4761
2013 46¢ Cosmos
Vintage Seed Packets
Large, single flowers that drift gracefully above long, thin stems make cosmos seem to dance during light breezes. Vividly colored petals surrounding yellow centers also attracts birds, bees, and butterflies, making cosmos a favorite among gardeners. To get an early start, cosmos may be planted indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost. Seedlings grow quickly and will likely need to be transplanted into bigger pots before sufficiently warm outdoor weather arrives. Once the time comes, look for soil that is moist and well-drained, but not too rich. Cosmos also tolerate warm, dry weather, making them easy to maintain in backgrounds, borders, and mass plantings.
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 cosmos 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.