2014 49¢ Ferns
Strip of Five
Issue Date: January 27, 2014
City: Kansas City, MO
Printed By: CCL Label Inc.
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11 Vertical
This strip of five stamps picture close-up photographs of ferns. The types featured are Fortune’s Holly, Soft Shield, Autumn, Goldie, and Painted. The stamps were issued in coils of 3,000 and 10,000 designed for businesses.
Often used in landscaping and flower arrangements for their soft, full appearance, ferns are not just another pretty plant. Ferns have much more to offer than a backdrop for the average green space.
Environmentally speaking, ferns are excellent soil stabilizers. Their long, thin roots stretch in a web under the ground’s surface, adding moisture to the soil and minimizing erosion in both the fern’s natural wooded environment as well as the garden.
Some varieties can be used as natural remedies. The roots of the royal fern are known to promote healing when applied to wounds and the oil from male fern roots is effective in treating some intestinal ailments. In France, there is even a cough syrup made from certain fern fronds and roots.
Ferns can also impact human health directly through our diet. Various roots can be added raw to salads, or boiled as a tender side dish. The fronds of some varieties can be sautéed as a healthy vegetable option. The young fronds, or fiddleheads, of the ostrich fern are especially high in protein, iron, and vitamins. Diners must be wary of the bracken fern, however. While edible, this fern is slightly toxic and must be cooked thoroughly. Surprisingly, the roots of this otherwise poisonous fern can replace hops in fermenting beer.
With nearly ten thousand fern species worldwide, it is not surprising people have found hundreds of clever ways to use them.