The beautiful 1/2oz Mandela Strelitzia Medallion was minted in honour of Nelson Mandela and the successes of the Kirstenbosch team at the the Chelsea Flower Show. The Mandela Strelitzia 1/2oz Gold Medallion (Mandela's Gold) has a 1,000 mintage.
The 1/2oz Mandela Strelitzia Medallion features the iconic bust of Nelson Mandela on the obverse and the Strelitzia on the reverse with the inscription "Mandela's Gold - Strelitzia Reginae Aiton".
The Strelitzia Reginae "Mandela's Gold" differs from the regular Strelitzia in that the well-known orange crest associated with the regular crane flower is replaced by a rich and vibrant yellow crest. Although the yellow-flowering Strelitzia has been spotted across the globe in places such as France, California, Australia and Japan, it is native to South Africa. The rarity of their existence is because when left to their own devices, the seeds from the yellow Strelitzia will not breed true and is almost always pollinated by an orange plant. It was only in 1970 that the Kirstenbosch nursery curator John Winter began a project to increase the gardens stock of the isolated specimen using the seven yellow plants that they currently had. It took nearly twenty years of careful selection and hand-pollination to build up enough stock for the yellow Strelitzia to be introduced to horticulture. In 1994 this magnificent Strelitzia specimen was released to the public and traded under the name 'Kirstenbosch Gold' until 1996 when the NBI was granted permission to re-name it in honour of Nelson Mandela.
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