2014 49¢ Autumn
The Autumn is one of five Ferns stamps issued in coils of 10,000 for business users. This was the first time large coils were issued as forever stamps. Coils with the same fern design were released in January 2014 with a 49¢ denomination.
Though it matures to a dark green over the summer, the autumn fern, also known as the Japanese wood fern, is aptly named for the warm copper coloring of its young fronds (leaves) each year.
This delicate-looking, moderately sized fern (18 inches tall at most) is actually quite sturdy. It requires shade and prefers well-drained moisture, but is an otherwise low-maintenance plant, ideal for use in gardens as ground cover. But in its native Japan and much of Southeast Asia, the hardy plant is sometimes regarded as a weed, growing outside of gardens more often than in them.
Despite its reputation in its homeland, the autumn fern is still a favorite in the Western Hemisphere, receiving the Award of Garden Merit in 1993. Each year, the British Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) recognizes a plant that performs well under UK growing conditions without the need for specialized gardening skills.
RHS recognition provides gardeners with a list of which plants grow best under certain conditions. The autumn fern, earning a hardiness rating of “H4,” is the most hardy a plant can be. According to the award guidelines it is certainly a go-to staple for both the veteran and novice gardener.
There are five species pictured on the fern stamps – autumn, Goldie’s wood, soft shield, Fortune’s holly, and painted ferns. Photographer Cindy Dyer captured the images at Green Spring Gardens in Lincolnia, Virginia, and Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia. The white background on the stamps highlights the details of each fern.
49¢ Fern, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate
Issue Date: March 6, 2014
City: Kansas City, MO (no First Day of Issue ceremony)
Printed By: CCL Label Inc.
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11 Vertical