The Peony Flower Festival Stamp Sheetlet 8 April 2009
Isle of Man Post Office is delighted to present a set of eight stamps issued to coincide with our attendance at the 2009 China World Stamp Exhibition and Peony Festival in Luoyang where the plant is thought to have originated
Praised as Chinas national flower, peonies are thirsty flowers and their bloom colours range from pristine white through pinks, cherries, reds and corals to near-yellows. Add blushes, blends and bicolour with stamens of gold or various centres of contrasting colours, and the combinations become almost endless. Many blooms will open in one colour and then age to a second and as an added bonus many are fragrant.
Today Luoyang is still recognised as a centre for peony culture. Each spring a thirty day festival is held to display varieties developed in Luoyang itself. Peony is the common name for approximately 33 species of flowers in the Paeonia genus, which belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. The flowers are among the most popular in any garden. The Chinese idolise this flower and peony motifs, particularly bright red ones, can be found on Chinese silks and in their exuberant woodcarvings.
The peony has been cultivated in the Luoyang area for over 1,500 years and there are more than 800 hectares dedicated to peony production. During the reign of the Emperor Yang (605-617) of the Sui dynasty (581-618), that peonies were thought to have been grown as ornamental plants. During the Tang dynasty (618-906) peonies became very popular in the imperial gardens and they were supposedly placed under imperial protection. The best varieties commanded huge prices and peonies were often part of a dowry settlement. However, it was during the Song dynasty (960-1279) that Luoyang became a centre for peony culture. As new dynasties began and emperors moved their courts, peonies were also moved adding to the widespread cultivation of the flower throughout China.
To view the Peony stamps please visit our website
To view a fully illustrated press release with technical details please click here
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