Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stamp of the day: Alpine Speedwell

This gorgeous flower is one of my favorites.  It grows in the mountains, is blue, and is not a gentian (which usually are known as the blue flowers).  Its English name is Alpine Speedwell, which is not at all as nice as its Latin name, Veronica fruticans, or Swedish name, klippveronika (it means Rock Veronica). The small flowers are deeply blue, but the most beautiful thing is the center ring that is the deepest red-purple you can imagine, with a white center.  Its English name comes of course from past medicinal uses of its relatives, 'speeding wellness', i.e., curing you.  I remember seeing this in flower in Abisko (northernmost Sweden) and other places in the Swedish mountains during our travels decades ago. On my wall here at home I have a nice, small watercolor painting made by my mom of this species. I wish you all could see this species in real life and really see how the blue, purple, and white draws your gaze into the center of the flower.  It also draws in pollinators of course, that is the whole evolutionary point.

The stamp is from Sweden and was printed in 1995.

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