In full bloom

Cactus Flowers stamps dedication.

The unexpected beauty of cacti was celebrated at a dedication ceremony last week for the Cactus Flowers stamps.

The stamps feature images of 10 cacti, flowering perennial succulents that are abundant in the Southwest and other parts of the world.

“Cacti in bloom have been described as Mother Nature’s fireworks. Their various hues of red, yellow and orange are evocative of a vivid sunset. They produce a beauty one would not expect to find in a desert setting,” said John DiPeri, the Postal Service’s Western Area operation and support acting manager, who led the ceremony in Mesa, AZ.

The event was part of an American Philatelic Society expo for stamp collectors.

Other speakers included Scott English, the society’s executive director; Ken Schutz, executive director at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix; and photographer John Schaefer, whose images appear on the stamps.

The Cactus Flowers stamps are available in booklets of 20, with each image featured twice, at Post Offices and