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Snake’s head (Fritillaria meleagris L.)

     

Code: 335557 Available

Price: 0.87 €


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Snake’s head (Fritillaria meleagris L.)

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Number: 1282
Value: 6.50 HRK
Design: Dean Roksandić, designer, Zagreb
Size: 29.80 x 35.50 mm
Paper: white 102 g, gummed
Perforation: Comb,14
Technique: Multicolored Offsetprint
Printed by: AKD d.o.o., Zagreb
Date of issue: 20/3/2020
Quantity: 110000


Snake’s head is a strictly protected plant species from the lily family (Liliaceae). This perennial bulbous monocotyledon rarely grows higher than 20 cm and flowers in early spring, usually producing a single large flower. The snake’s head is a widespread species found almost in entire Europe and in western Asia, but is becoming increasingly rare in some regions due to habitat loss. It is thus featured in the Croatian Red Book as a vulnerable species (VU). Snake’s head is threatened mainly by human activity, including habitat destruction due to agriculture and urbanisation, but also habitat neglect due to discontinuation of mowing and vegetation succession.


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Snake’s head is a strictly protected plant species from the lily family (Liliaceae). This perennial bulbous monocotyledon rarely grows higher than 20 cm and flowers in early spring, usually producing a single large flower. The snake’s head is a widespread species found almost in entire Europe and in western Asia, but is becoming increasingly rare in some regions due to habitat loss. It is thus featured in the Croatian Red Book as a vulnerable species (VU). Snake’s head is threatened mainly by human activity, including habitat destruction due to agriculture and urbanisation, but also habitat neglect due to discontinuation of mowing and vegetation succession. Rarely encountered in natural environments, this occupant of wet continental grasslands is widely available as a spring decorative plant, very popular in flower gardens across the world. Snake’s head has been grown in Europe and Asia for thousands of years, making it impossible to tell which parts of its present-day range it was native to, and where it “escaped” from gardens into the wilderness a long time ago. Historical records indicate that snake’s head was grown throughout history not only for its unusual beauty, but also for its medical properties (the bulb is very poisonous!), unconfirmed as of yet by modern medicine. The belief about snake’s head curative powers was possibly due to its unusual appearance more than any actual therapeutic benefits. Owing to the striking chequered pattern of its perianth, reminiscent of the chequered red-and-white Croatian national emblem, snake’s head is often considered a component of Croatian national identity, and the word “Croatian” is sometimes added to its Croatian name. Snake’s head is widespread, however, and not endemic to Croatia. The true Croatian endemic species in this genus, represented by five species and four subspecies in Croatia, is Fritillaria messanensis ssp. neglecta, found in karst grasslands of Dalmatia and the South Adriatic islands. However, this fritillary species has greenish and reddish stripes in place of red and white squares. Sanja Kovačić, PhD, specialist advisor Botany Garden, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb

Number: CROATIAN FLORA – STRICTLY PROTECTED SPECIES
Type: C
Description:   Motifs: Snake’s head, entire-petalled gorse and Tommasini’s sandwort The postage stamps have been issued in 20-stamp sheets and 10-stamp booklets and the Croatian Post has also issued a First Day Cover (FDC) and three Maximum Cards.
Date: 20/3/2020

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