U.S. #4973-77 OR U.S. #4973a-77a
2014 & 2015 Ferns (with Microprinting)
Value: 49¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: March 27, 2015
First Day City:
Kansas City, MO
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America/SSP
Printing Method: Offset, Microprint
Formats: Coil of 3,000 (2015) OR Coil of 10,000 (2014)
Quantities Printed: 45,000,000 (Coil of 3,000) OR 100,000,000 (Coil of 10,000)
**Please Note: When you order this set of five 2015 Fern stamps, you may receive US #4973-77 (from the coils of 3,000 with "2015" at the bottom of the stamp) OR #4973a-77a (from the coils of 10,000 with "2014" at the bottom of the stamp).**
Often used in landscaping and flower arrangements for their soft, full appearance, ferns are not just another pretty plant. Ferns have much more to offer than a backdrop for the average green space.
Environmentally speaking, ferns are excellent soil stabilizers. Their long, thin roots stetch in a web just below the surface, keeping the soil moist and minimizing erosion in both the fern's natural wooded environment as well as in gardens.
Some varieties can be used as natural remedies. The roots of the royal fern are known to promote healing when applied to wounds, and the oil from male fern roots is effective in treating some intestinal ailments. In France, there is even a cough syrpu made from certain fern fronds and roots.
Ferns can also impact human health directly through our diet. Various roots can be added raw to salads, or boiled as a tender side dish. The fronds of some varieties can be sauteed as a healthy vegetable option. The young fronds, or fiddleheads, of the ostrich fern are especially high in protein, iron, and vitamins. Diners must be wary of the bracken fern, however. While edible, this fern is slightly toxic and must be cooked thoroughly. Surprisingly, the roots of this otherwise poisonous fern can replace hobs in fermenting beer.
With nearly 10,000 fern species worldwide, it is not surprising people have found hundreds of clever ways to use them.