Being a plant collector as well as a stamp collector, I have always admired this attractive issue.
The colourful illustrations of the flowers of Great Britain were the subjects of Michael Goman’s vivid designs for the stamps, which were put on sale on August 5th, 1964 to mark the 10th International Botanical Congress held in Edinburgh from August 3rd to 12th.
The Congresses were held every five years, each alternate Congress being in Europe. The last one prior to this held in Great Britain was in 1930. The King of Sweden was the Honorary President of the Congress, attended by over 4,000 people, many from overseas countries.
The Congress was marked by special exhibitions and displays in Botanical Gardens in various parts of the country and in particular at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Delegates to the Congress discussed all aspects of botany in its broadest sense, e.g. forestry, agriculture, the disease classification, evolution, chemistry, genetics and the general structure of plant.
The 3d. stamp features the Spring Gentian (Gentiana verna); the 6d. stamp portrays the Dog Rose (Rosa canina); the 9d. denomination illustrates the Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) and the 1/3 stamp features the Fringed Water Lily (Limnanthemum nymphaeoides). At the bottom right hand corner of each stamp botanical sections of the individual flowers and their sed pods are illustrated.
The colours of the stamps are: 3d. violet, gentian blue, yellow/green; 6d. dark green, leaf green, pink, scarlet; 9d. flame red, yellow, green crimson; 1/3 green/brown, bright green, yellow, lilac.
These designs were a combined effort on the part of Michael Goaman, FISA and his wife Sylvia. Mr. Goaman designed a number of British stamps.