2012 New Zealand Native Trees

The 2012 New Zealand Native Trees stamp issue features five gummed stamps which portray five iconic native New Zealand trees. Each of the beautiful species is depicted in a detailed illustrative style and the scientific name of each species is included in the design – adding to the authenticity of the issue.

Issue information

New Zealand’s isolation from the rest of the world has allowed its unique flora to evolve and flourish, resulting in the distinctive array of native trees present today. This high degree of endemism makes New Zealand’s native trees truly special, so much so that Conservation International has recognised New Zealand as a world biodiversity hotspot. Almost all of New Zealand’s native species of conifers, flowering trees and tree ferns occur nowhere else – resulting in native forests like no other on Earth.

The individual stamps in this issue are as follows:

60c - Pōhutukawa

The pōhutukawa is a species of Metrosideros, and is often referred to as the New Zealand Christmas tree due to its display of bright red, pollen-producing stamens in summer. The undersides of the leaves and flower buds are densely furry with white hairs. Although it is widely cultivated throughout the country, in nature it is restricted to the northern North Island, mostly in costal habitats.

$1.20 - Cabbage Tree

The cabbage tree (Cordyline australis) or tï kouka is found throughout New Zealand in moist soils and swamps. It is a tall, much-branched tree, and has long, narrow leaves with many parallel veins. The abundant small white flowers are attached to the branching stems of large inflorescences, and the fruits are white to purple berries.

$1.90 - Kōwhai

The vibrant kōwhai tree is most conspicuous in spring, with its large golden-yellow flowers. Its flowers are bird pollinated and the petals are arranged in a sort of tube to contain a sufficient quantity of nectar. Sophora microphylla is widespread and grows near streams and at lake edges.

$2.40 - Nīkau

The nīkau (Rhopalostylis) is the furthest south palm in the Southern Hemisphere. It is impressive in height, and the top of the trunk is crowned by a spreading cluster of enormous leaves divided into leaflets. Flower clusters arise below the crown of leaves and form bright red berries. Where the nīkau is plentiful it gives the feeling of a tropical forest.

$2.90 - Mānuka

The mānuka (Leptospermum scoparium) is a widespread shrub that sometimes grows to a small tree. Its leaves are very small and quite sharply pointed, and it is abundant with small white flowers (although pink and red varieties are cultivated). The mānuka is well known for the dark, strongflavoured honey it produces.

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Technical information

Date of issue: 1 February 2012
Number of stamps: Five gummed stamps
Stamps, miniature sheet, first day covers and presentation pack designed by: 2Di4 Design, Wellington, New Zealand
Denominations: 60c, $1.20, $1.90, $2.40, $2.90
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 30mm x 40mm
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 25
Perforation gauge: 14.5
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks may be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks are available in A and B formats.
Period of sale: Unless stocks are exhausted earlier, these stamps will remain on sale until 31 January 2013