Sunday, 10 October 2010

Flora of Croatia. Fruits on stamps of 2010

Recently the Croatian Post have issued the flora-fauna series of stamps in every year. On year 2010, the chosen flora, fruits, has depicted on stamps , like Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca L), Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L), and Gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa L).

 Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca L)
Wild Strawberry or Woodland Strawberry is s low perennial herb growing in temperate zones of north hemisphere. From the underground root there grow flowering stems, runners (stolons) and toothed trifoliate leaves. Flowers on long pedicles have 5 white petals with numerous pistils and stamens.The fruit of woodland strawberry, with an exceptionelly characteristic smell and taste, is often wrongly considered broad bean.Today about 400 sorts of garden stroberries are known, that differ in size, smell and taste of their fruits, and some even in colour (white, orange and yellow sorts). Nevertheless, woodland strawberries are still appreciated as more tasteful, better smelling and more nutritious than garden strawberries. Various strawberry processing procedures have turned strawberries into one of the most favourite fruits in the world. It is far less known that the strawberry leaves are very rich in vitamin C and are a good substitute for black tea to which fragrant, dried fruits can be added.


Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L)
Grapevine, is among the oldest cultivated plants of the ancient world and still the most spread fruit on the world. The wild subspecies of grapevine is a creeping plant that can reach up to 15 m height, coils around its supporting rod thanks to its long and short offshoots with tendrils. The leaves are on long stems and lobate in shape. Tiny flowers are divided in male and female blossoms, gathered in peak clusters. The domesticated subspecies of grapevine has hermaphrodite flowers, whereof the female ones give fruit – soft berries with several seeds each.
There are almost 20.000 described sorts of grapevine, which differ in their ripening time, resistance to climate factors, diseases and parasites, but first of all in their fruits that can be used in wine production and that are of different colour, size, shape, taste and smell of their clusters. The sorts of grape vine can be divided by the colour of their berries in white and red, and further in rose and black, i.e. red, and according to its smell to aromatic and non-aromatic.
Croatia has exceptionally favourite climate conditions for raising various sorts of grapes (Croatia comprises all five zones of grapevine cultivation).From about 130 sorts of autochtonous grapevines cultivars in Croatia, the best known is the Vitis Vinifera L. (plavac mali crni), which is used in production of excellent wines (Dinga─Ź and Postup) from protected geographical regions.
Apart from the production of wine, the grapevine has also other culinary uses (raisins, vinegar, stuffed grapevine leaves), and uses as medication. 

Gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa L)
Gooseberry is 1 - 3 m high, broad bush belonging to the genus of Ribes.Thin, hairy gooseberry offsets are spirally overgrown by sharp, greyish spines, while the hairy leaves are small and lobate. The bell-shaped greenish flowers, are hanging singly, in pairs or by three. The fruit is more or less hairy berry of a diameter 1 - 3 cm, white, red, green or yellow in colour, depending on the sort (at least 200). The yellow berries are considered to be the most tasteful as food, and the wine made from them has the taste similar to champagne. The red berries are as a rule the sourest but also the richest in vitamin C.
Gooseberry is native to Europe and West Asia. In South Europe gooseberry grows in moist and cold habitats in schrubberies and woods at the foot of hills; it is relatively unknown sort, rare in cultivation. Gooseberry is also a pretty demanding plant to cultivate, since it can not stand strong sun and summer lack of moisture, too high or too low temperatures, and is subject to a series of parasites and diseases. Thus, also in Croatia it is cultivated individually and primarily as a decoration in home gardens or in hedges around vegetable gardens, together with raspberries and currants.
Gooseberry is mostly used in culinary, for preparation of various desserts, especially cakes, and gelatine food (containing high percentage of pectin) and sauces. The gooseberry fruits cannot be stored fresh for a long period of time because of their high percentage of water, are subject to quick spoilage.Therefore gooseberry fruits are most often processed into marmalades, jams, juices or wine. In cosmetic industry gooseberry is added to face masks, and is considered also to be a curing plant - in the form of refreshing tonic for the “spring body cleaning”.


Year by Year Anniversary Gifts said...

This is really great information! I have always been interested in fruits and grapes for winemaking. Do you know if they use their fruits in winemaking? Thanks for the great post, its very informative. I might like to visit Croatia if there is a wine country or even just check out the vineyards!

Refrigerators said...

Oh I love your blog especially those colorful stamps. I want to have like those stamps too because I am collecting from all over the world.

Cheap Beijing Tours said...

I go through your articles and found some information which is quite important for me. It is very informative. thanks a lot.

web design hamilton said...

Croatia is a wonderful country. Not only it has mountains and sea, but it's got lovely fauna and flora. No wonder these stamps have Croatian flora on them.