The graceful and exotic Orchid represents beauty and strength, so what a better choice for a joint issue of Israel and Ecuador. The stamp aims to emphasize the breathtaking beauty of each country and the strengthen of the connection between them. The stamp will be put into circulation on the 16th of December. Ecuador will be issuing the same design next year.
The Bee Orchid (Ophrys fuciflora) belongs to the Orchidaceae family and resembles a bee, hence its name. This species grows wild in mountainous areas of Israel, sprouting leaves and tall flowers (up to 80 cms) in early winter. The bulbs empty and shrivel in April and May and then a new bulb grows. The portions of the plant that grow above ground wilt at the end of spring and the bulb remains viable during the dry months of summer. The Bee Orchid, which serves as the symbol of the Israeli Orchid Society, is one of approximately eight species of wild bee orchids that are known to grow in Israel.
The Monkey Orchid (Dracula simia) belongs to the same family and grows on trees in the high forests of Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. The scientific name of this flower is comprised of two words: "Dracula", which stems from its resemblance to the famous Count's fangs, and "simia", which means monkey. This orchid is also named for an animal, because its single flower resembles the face of a monkey.
Israel will always remember that Ecuador was one of the 33 countries that supported the establishment of the State of Israel during the historic UN General Assembly vote on November 29, 1947. Since the opening of the Israeli Embassy in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, on June 19, 1957 the relationship between Israel and Ecuador has deepened.
Today the two countries cooperate in many areas, including agriculture, culture, science and education. Recently, they are also working together in the fields of high-tech, economy and venture capital funds.