2021 55¢ Garden Beauty – Allium
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: February 23, 2021
First Day City: Bloomfield, IN
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Booklet of 20
Quantity Printed: 600,000,000
When most of us think of flowers, we picture roses, daisies, orchids, tulips, daffodils, and the like. However, many food plants also produce beautiful blooms. Members of the genus Allium (think onions and garlic) are one example.
Allium is a genus of flowering plant with over 500 species, making it the largest in the family of Amaryllidaceae. Plants in this genus are known for producing "true bulbs" and having an onion or garlic smell and taste. They produce up to 12 leaves, with some species losing their leaves after the plant blooms. Others hold onto their leaves for the duration of their growing season.
As for flowers, Allium produce blooms on the end of stem-like structures called scapes. Individual flowers have six tepals (similar to petals) and are produced in umbrella-shaped clusters. The outer flowers bloom first, with the inner ones coming later. Some species reproduce by seeds as well as by bulb.
Most of us want to plant the most colorful flowers possible in our gardens. The usual choices are nice, but it's also a lot of fun to plant species with a dual purpose. It can be sad to remove dead flowers from our gardens... But when we plant species like Allium, we can continue to enjoy them well after the blooms have fallen off.