2020 55¢ Triphora Trianthophoros (Three Birds Orchid)
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: February 21, 2020
First Day City:
Coral Gables, FL
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Double-sided booklet of 20
Quantity Printed: 500,000,000
Of all the North American flower species, some of the most stunning and mysterious are the orchids. In 2020, the USPS issued a set of 10 Forever stamps featuring 9 different species that grow wild in the United States. One species – Triphora trianthophoros – was pictured on two stamps.
Triphora trianthophoros is commonly known as the "three birds" orchid or "nodding pogonia." It is known as one of the most striking of the genus Triphora, with small dark green to purple leaves and beautiful multicolored flowers. The two 2020 US stamps picturing this orchid feature white flowers with bright purple accents.
The three birds orchid got its name from the way the flowers grow. The scientific name trianthophoros means "bearing three flowers," and that is usually how many blooms appear on each plant. While stunning, the flowers are generally less than one inch in size. It is recommended to view the flowers up close to appreciate their full beauty.
The three birds orchid is found from Panama all the way to Ontario, Canada. However, it is considered quite rare throughout its native range. The flowers are easily identified by their iconic shape – resembling three birds in flight. It is amazing to think such a tiny orchid can be so complex and beautiful.