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South Otago Hellebore features on NZ stamp issue

A South Otago winter rose with no name has the rest licked. Grown by Ken and Kate Telford at their Clifton Homestead Nursery, 21km south of Balclutha, the unnamed hellebore (winter rose) is the only South Island flower to feature in New Zealand Post's garden flowers stamp issue released yesterday. The couple have been growing winter roses and various hybrids for the past 16 years and are thrilled one of their creations will adorn stamps that will go around the world. Although the hellebore will not be named, it will take per- manent pride of place in the series of five stamps that celebrate this country's special flowers. "It's a bit of a thrill, I guess," Mr Telford said yesterday. Most of the species have yet to fully bloom in his large, sheltered nursery but an example of a double-purple hellebore features on the collection's 90c stamp. Its release comes at the per- fect time for the couple as the unnamed hybrid will become available soon in stores. The hellebore boasts an 1100 year history as a medicinal and yet mildly poisonous plant. Extensively cross bred, it is regarded as one of the most popular winter flowering roses. The collection also contains New Zealand's first "scratch and smell" stamp, the magnolia "Vulcan", according to New Zealand Post Stamps general manager Ivor Masters. The five featured flowers are a celebration of the time and care put in by New Zealand gardeners. The others are a magnolia from Waitara, an Anzac flower from Pukekohe, a rhododendron "Charisma" from Taranaki and a Wanganui based delphinium.
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