Almost all cacti are native to the Americas, ranging from British Columbia and Alberta in Canada to the southern regions of Argentina and Chile. The southwestern U.S. and Mexico are home to the greatest variety and abundance of cacti.
Cacti are among America’s most popular houseplants. Most cacti grow very slowly, and are tough, adaptable and low maintenance. Several botanic gardens in the U.S. showcase the wide variety and stunning beauty of these plants. When cacti bloom, visitors experience a vivid floral display. Cactus flowers generally occur singly, although many separate blossoms might appear on a plant at the same time. Most cactus flowers are large and flamboyant, with colors of white, red, pink, orange, or yellow. Some flowers are also richly scented, and the nectar and colors attract pollinators such as bats, bees and birds.
Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps with existing photographs taken by John P. Schaefer, a co-founder, along with Ansel Adams, of the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona.
The Cactus Flowers stamps are being issued as Forever stamps in booklets of 20 and will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.