This new 120 XPF stamp issue, designed by Jean-Paul Véret Le Marinier, shows the flowering of Pittosporum tanianum, a small dry forest tree, rediscovered on Leprédour islet in 2002 by Bernard Suprin.
The species was first observed in 1988 by Jean-Marie Veillon, a botanist working at ORSTOM, who discovered a single specimen of this previously unknown plant in the Pittosporum family on Leprédour islet. A second tree was found in November 1988. Despite intense investigation, the species was never observed in any other location and thus became one of the rarest plant species on the planet.
Subsequent attempts to propagate the tree by cuttings unfortunately met with failure. In 1992, one of the plants died and in 1993, the second one was lost. Since the probability of finding any surviving trees was seen as extremely low, the species Pittosporum tanianum was declared extinct to science in 1994. In 2002, while on a visit to Leprédour islet as part of a Dry Forest Conservation Program, Bernard Suprin of the Province Sud Natural Resources Department discovered a new specimen in a small area of dry forest to the south of the islet. Thanks to tenacious investigation, two additional mature trees were located in the months that followed the initial rediscovery.
Since then, Pittosporum tanianum, prized its distinctive and ornamental saffron yellow flowers, has been successfully propagated and planted in New Caledonian public parks and gardens, including the Michel Corbasson Botanical and Wildlife Park in Noumea.