Starting February 21, you'll be able to get these beauties at the post office.

Even if you're still dealing with snow and ice, your snail mail could soon be getting a little early spring color. On February 21, the U.S. Postal Service will release 10 new stamps, featuring different species of orchids native to the United States. The official unveiling of the new Forever stamps is set to take place at the American Orchid Society Library at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, FL, but the USPS just released a sneak peek to tide over collectors and orchid fans until the stamps become available.

row of 10 stamps with photos of wild orchids
Credit: Courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service

The orchids featured on the stamps grow wild in different regions across the United States, including the Midwest, the East Coast, the southeast, and western states. On the top row, left to right, the stamps show the three birds orchid (Triphora trianthophoros), California’s lady slipper (Cypripedium californicum), crested coral foot (Hexalectris spicata), showy lady’s slipper (Cypripedium reginae), and lady’s tresses (Spiranthes odorata). On the bottom row, left to right, they show the prairie white fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea), the three birds orchid again, greater purple fringed bog orchid (Platanthera grandiflora), yellow cyrtopodium (Cyrtopodium polyphyllum), and tuberous grass pink (Calopogon tuberosus).

Though many people think of orchids as houseplants, there are more than 30,000 species of wild orchids around the world. Over 100 species are native to North America, but many of them are currently threatened or endangered, and organizations like the Orchid Conservation Coalition are working to preserve their natural habitats.

Jim Fowler photographed the orchids featured on the stamps, and Ethel Kessler designed each one. After their release, you’ll be able to buy these stamps at your local post office, online, or by mail. You can also preorder the stamps now online.

If you’re already looking forward to using these new orchid stamps on your letters and cards to make your snail mail even prettier, keep an eye out for a few of the other nature-themed stamp releases that the USPS is planning for 2020. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this year, the Postal Service has designed a stamp with a painting of the planet. A series of stamps featuring American gardens is also in the works for later this year, featuring photos of 10 different botanic and estate gardens around the country. The wild orchid series will be the first to appear, but there’ll be plenty of options for exciting new stamps celebrating the natural world all year!


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