Christmas Island Botanical Postage Stamps
Date of issue: 30 April 1977
Designer: V. Whiteley Studios
Printer: Harrison & Sons, London
One of a loose series of stamps featuring 'Visitors' to Christmas Island
Plant: Brachypeza archytas
(the older name on stamp is Saccolabium archytas)
The stem of the orchid is hidden by a bunch of aerial roots, the 4-5 leaves are 100-220 mm long. A flower-stem 15-35 cm long supports many densely spaced small white flowers.
It is endemic to Christmas Island, grows as an epiphyte on trees and is relatively common.
The scientific 'visitor' is Henry Nicholas Ridley (1855-1956) who was Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens from 1888 to1911. He collected plants on the Island on two occasions, for one day in 1890 and on a one month expedition in 1904.