Abstract of a publication based on research funded in part by the Australian Flora Foundation

Understanding stirlingia - an important export crop
Reid, A.F. 1 , Bowen B. J. 2 , Fuss, A. M. 3,4 , Lamont B. B. 5 , Markey, A. 6 , Ladd, P. G. 7 , and Pate J. S.. 8
1 Plant Research and Development Services, Agriculture WA, 3 Baron-Hay Court South Perth, 6151
2 Lecturer, School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, 6150
3 Horticultural Consultant, 54 Phillip St, Toowoomba, 4350
4 Formerly Research officer, Agriculture WA, 3 Baron-Hay Court, South Perth, 6151
5 Associate Professor, School of Environmental Biology, Curtin University, Hayman Rd, Como, 6152
6 Research Associate, School of Environmental Biology, Curtin University, Hayman Rd, Como, 6152
7 Senior Lecturer, School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, 6150
8 Professor, Department of Botany, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, 6009

The New Rural Industries: Proceedings of the IV Workshop for Australian Native Flowers, held at the University of Western Australia, 28–30 September 1996, pp 263–267.     Grant details     Full report

Summary
Stirlingia latifolia is one of the most important crops currently bushpicked for export yet the horticulture and
biology of this crop is still poorly understood. Knowledge of the flowering biology of S. latifolia helps us
understand why so few ‘‘bobbles’’are produced in relation to the apparently large number of flowers. Studies of
growth and flowering have shown how important fire is in regeneration of this species but pruning and clipping
trials have failed to duplicate this response. In pot trials, S. latifolia responds to applications of nitrogen,
potassium and phosphorus and it is likely that a significant part of the growth response following fire is due to a
renewed supply of nutrients.
Much of the research conducted to date and reported in this paper has focussed on S. latifolia as a member of the
Proteaceae and also as a typical resprouter. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of S.
latifolia
as a potential row crop and quality export floral product.