• Issue: May 2006
  • Designer: Ad Vanooijen
  • Stamp Size: 30.8 mm x 25.7 mm
  • Plate no.: 643 (1 phosphor bar) 644 (1 phosphor bar)
  • Sheet of 25 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: offset

Tulips and Columbines (Aquilegia) are ornamental flowers. The origin of the wild Tulip is in South West Asia, while the Columbine is a native of Europe and North America.

The Tulip

The Tulip (Tulipa) is a perennial plant, with a bulb set deep in the ground. Essentially it is a spring flower: the few leaves burst forth from the soil when the air warms up and from their heart grows a stalk with a single, strikingly beautiful flower.

The cultivation of Tulips started in the thirteenths century in Iran. The first Tulips reached Europe in the year 1554 from the Sultan's Court in Istanbul. 80 species of Tulips were discovered since and in the hands of gardeners, bred into hundreds of cultivated forms and varieties. In 1634 trading in Tulips turned into a speculative frenzy - Tulipomania - during which the bulbs were sold at outrageous prices. Today Holland is the world's prime center of Tulip cultivation, and exports millions of bulbs world wide (also to Israel), though none of the species is native to Holland. Their flowers are grown as pot plants, for bedding, or cut flowers.

The five native Israeli, wild species, are protected plants.


Columbines (Aquilegia in Latin) belong to the Buttercup family and are distinguished by their spectacular summer flowering. Columbines conquered their place in gardens only during the twentieth century.

They were promoted by seed merchants who encouraged the breeding of a wide range of forms; during the Middle-Ages it was part of popular herbal medicine, but nowadays it is only an ornamental and cut flower.

70 species, native to the Northern Hemisphere, grow in shady spots, forest fringes, meadows or soil pockets in the mountains. Herbaceous growth and showy flowers, carried in a small cluster above the leaves, distinguish Columbines.

The flowers are symmetric, erect or nodding. Each flower is comprised by five sepals and five petals with a hollow, nectar filled spur. Flower colors range from dark blue, violet to shades of yellow. Crossing of the species created varieties of outstanding flower size and colorfulness. Columbines are popular garden plants and cut flowers, appreciated by gardeners.

Dr. Michael Avishai

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Flowers - "My Own Stamp"