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The U.S. Postal Service® celebrates the beauty and elegance of water lilies with four new stamps.
Water lilies are aquatic herbs that live in both temperate and tropical climates around the world. Found in still freshwater habitats, most of the more than 50 species of the water lily family have round waxy leaves that float on the surface. They are attached to long stalks that rise from thick underwater stems.
First day of issue: March 20, 2015 Cleveland, OH
The Water Lilies Stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce price, which is $0.49.
Although delicate looking, the flowers are tough, and in the U.S., hardy water lilies grow well in water gardens.. Tropical water lilies are larger and more vibrantly colored. The Victoria amazonica, with leaves that can span up to seven feet, is the world's largest water lily.
Water lilies bloom in the U.S. from spring to fall. Many water lilies bloom only during the day, but there are several night bloomers whose flowers open in the late afternoon and close at morning's light.
The world's smallest water lily, now extinct in the wild, is the Nymphaea. It is the only Nymphaea to grow in damp mud rather than water.
The appreciation for the beauty of water lilies has a long history. The plants take their botanical name, Nymphaea, from the nymphs, nature deities from Greek mythology. Water lilies are featured often in the art of the Maya, an ancient Mesoamerican culture.
Some of the most well known paintings of French impressionist Claude Monet were of water lilies; the artist dedicated the last decades of his life to capturing the beauty of the lily pond on his estate in Giverny, France.