The New Caledonia Office des Postes et Communications draws you into the fascinating world of local endemic orchids with the issue of this new booklet featuring four 110 XPF postage stamps. The Orchidaceae family appeared nearly 100 million years ago. With over 30,000 known species and many more still to be identified, orchids are one of the planet's largest and most highly evolved family of flowering plants. Orchids grow throughout the entire world and thrive in almost every type of habitat, but the world's richest concentration of orchid varieties is found in tropical and subtropical regions. New Caledonia boasts around 225 orchid species, half of which are endemic.
Four native species are illustrated here: Eria karicouyensis has orange-red or yellow flowers and grows on broad tree trunks in dense rain forests; Eriaxis rigida produces white or pink flowers and has adjusted to sparse mining scrubland and the rocky soils of low forest vegetation; Earina deplanchei produces yellow flowers and is found in both mining scrubland and dense rain forest habitats; finally, Dendrobium poissonianum also produces yellow flowers and flourishes in dense rain forests. Wild orchids, the fragile and delicate jewels of New Caledonia's plant world, are protected in both the North Province and South Province. If are lucky enough to glimpse any when walking in the countryside, admire their beauty, enjoy their scent, take a photo... but never, never pick them!