Things just got a little more beautiful today with the release of La Florida, a set of elegant floral stamps celebrating the 500th anniversary of the first recorded Spanish expedition to Florida. Known today for its towering palm trees, flourishing orange groves, and opulent displays of flowers, the state earns the name given by the Spanish in 1513—La Florida.
Traveling with three ships, Ponce de León came within sight of the peninsula during Easter week of 1513. He named the land La Florida for Pascua Florida (“Feast of the Flowers”), Spain’s Easter celebration, and for the verdant display of vegetation visible beyond the shore. A few days after that first sighting, he landed on what he believed was an island and formally took possession in the name of the Spanish crown.
Evoking the beauty of Florida’s lush vegetation, the stamp sheet is made up of four blocks of four stamps, each covered in a cascade of blossoms drawn in exquisite detail. Each stamp shows a particular variety of flower: red and pink hibiscuses; yellow cannas; morning glories in white, red, and shades of purple; and white and purple passionflowers. On the right-hand side of the stamp sheet is an imagined scene of Spanish explorers traveling in a small boat along a river or channel surrounded by tropical foliage.
These gorgeous new stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps. (Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce rate.) They are available online and in Post Offices nationwide beginning today.