U.S. #4974 OR U.S. #4974a
2014 & 2015 Ferns (with Microprinting): Autumn Fern
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 2015 Autumn Fern stamp, you may receive US #4974 (from the coils of 3,000 with "2015" at the bottom of the stamp) OR #4974a (from the coils of 10,000 with "2014" at the bottom of the stamp).**
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).
This delicate-looking, moderately sized fern (18 inches tall at most) is actually quite sturdy. It requires shade and prefers well-draining soil, but is an otherwise low-maintenance plant. it is 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, presumably growing outside of gardens more often than in them.
Despite its reputation in its homeland, the autumn fern is still a favorite in teh 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 a go-to for both the veteran and novice gardener.