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Low-value Wildflower (1977-81)
Updated Jan 5/02


 see also, Study Tips #5 article (hook-tag flaw)

 Medium-value Trees

Canadian Bank Note Company: Lithography

British American Bank Note Company: Photogravure


The Wildflower low-value definitives made their appearance April 22, 1977. Although only 8 values were issued, 23 easily identifiable varieties were produced.

The first six Wildflower values (110) were initially scheduled for a March 1, 1977 release, along with the new 12 Queen Elizabeth II design. Production difficulties postponed their release until April 22nd this was the first time that low value definitives were printed with multiple colours.

The design is similar in nature to the medium-value Trees, except that the Trees are a larger-sized stamp - both groups of stamps share the same background style with single-outlined border and style of print for the value and inscription.

Two different printers produced these stamps. Each used a different printing method. As a result, the stamps printed by each firm are easy to separate from the other printer. The differences are most noticeable in the printing of the background of the stamp's design:

  • Canadian Bank Note Company used the lithographic printing method. This results in a "solid" colour, particularly noticeable in the background colour.

    The CBN used a perf of 12x12 1/2 on these stamps (the 10c Flower had a second CBN printing of perf 13x13 1/3).

    The inks used to print the lithographic "background" of the CBN stamps have a strong tendency to change colour when exposed to long periods of sunlight or ultraviolet light be cautious when purchasing these so-called printing varieties.

  • British American Bank Note Company used the photogravure process to print these stamps. This results in an uneven texture to the colours, particularly noticeable in the background colour (this effect is also described as "mottled", blotchy", "streaky", etc.).

    The BABN used a perf of 13x13 1/3 on the sheet stamps and 12x12 1/2 on the booklet stamps.

    Notice that the 12c and 15c Flowers were only printed by the BABN.

All values were printed in panes of 100; in addition the 1c and 2c values were available from booklet panes (which differ from the sheet version). Top


  Sheet   Booklet   Precancel
  Lithography Photogravure   Photogravure   Lithography Photogravure
  12x12 1/2 13x13 1/3 13x13 1/3   12x12 1/2   12x12 1/2 13x13 1/3
1c Bottle Gentian Apr 22/77 (pl 1)   Aug 16/79 (pl 2)   Nov 1/77   Feb 1/78  
2c Western Columbine Apr 22/77 (pl 1)   Aug 2/79 (pl 2)   Apr 1/78      
3c Canada Lily Apr 22/77 (pl 1)   Apr 11/79 (pl 2)       Aug 78  
4c Hepatica Apr 22/77 (pl 1)   Jul 3/79 (pl 2)          
5c Shooting Star Apr 22/77 (pl 1)   Jan 23/79 (pl 2)       May 78  
10c Slipper Apr 22/77 (pl 1) Sep 78 (pl 2) Oct 4/79 (pl 3)       Jul 77  
12c Jewelweed     Jul 6/78 (pl 1)         Sep 78
15c Canada Violet     Aug 16/79 (pl 1)         Aug 16/79

The date shown is the date of issue of that specific variety. A "blank" means the item does not exist. Top


These stamps were available for nearly 5 years. In that time a number of errors appeared:

  • missing colour (all due to repellex variety): 1c (CBN, 17 stamps known), 4c (CBN), 5c (CBN, 3 stamps known)
  • printed on gum side: 1c precancel (only 16 copies from a corner set known), 2c (CBN), 4c (CBN)
  • imperf bottom half of stamp and margin: 2c (CBN)
  • double perforated: 5c (CBN, 1 pane of 100 known)
  • "hook-tag flaw" (all BABN): 1c, 3c, 5c, 10c, 15c (see article)
  • untagged: 2c (CBN), 2c (BABN), 3c (CBN), 5c (CBN), 10c (CBN), 10c (BABN), 15c


1c Flower Overprints (13k)The 1c Bottle Gentian wildflower was overprinted, on 3 separate occasions, by stamp exhibitions for advertising and fund-raising purposes. All were officially approved by Canada Post:

12x12 1/2
13x13 1/3
HINTON / PEX / 1977 x  
EXUP XI / 12 au 14 / MAI / 1978 x  
PHILABEC '80 / 31 mai / 1er JUIN   x

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