Amaryllis: A native of South America, the amaryllis (Hippeastrum) produces 2-to-3-foot stalks topped by large single or double trumpet-shaped flowers in colors that include red, salmon, orange, pink, rose and white. There also are varieties that are striped or multicolored, usually combining white with shades of pink or red. The amaryllis is a dramatic potted plant and can be “forced” — a process that mimics the plant’s natural growth cycle indoors causing it to bloom in winter rather than in spring when planted outside.
Cyclamen: The approximately 20 species of cyclamen are native to the Mediterranean region. Florist’s cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) has gained popularity in the United States as a winter-blooming potted plant. Produced on long, leafless stems, the sweetly scented flowers have five petals, four up and one down, that are held upright above the foliage. The flowers come in shades of white, pink, purple and red with green foliage mottled with silver.
Christmas cactus: A favorite traditionduringt the holidays, the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) is a long-lived plant native to the jungles of South America. Easy to grow indoors, the plant, which is naturally winter-blooming, has flattened stems that bloom with flowers in yellow, salmon, pink, fuchsia and white or sometimes in combinations of those colors. Though it differs slightly in appearance, the Thanksgiving cactus is a member of the same botanical genus.
Paperwhite: The paperwhite (Narcissus tazetta) is native to the Mediterranean and is the most fragrant type of daffodil. Like the amaryllis, the paperwhite can be induced to bloom indoors where its sweet floral scent will permeate a room. The small, star-shaped flowers can be pure white, while others have white outer petals with pale yellow “cups” in the center.
Winter Flowers stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps in booklets of 20. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class® Mail one-ounce price.