Development of new wild flower crops in Victoria – Publication

Abstract of a paper based on work funded at least in part by the Australian Flora Foundation

Slater, A. T. Jones, R. B. Horlock, F. Henderson, B. Faragher, J. D. Beardsell, D. V.
Institute for Horticultural Development, Agriculture Victoria, Private Bag 15, South Eastern Mail Centre, Victoria 3176, Australia.

Acta Horticulturae. 1998   454: 99-104
CAB Abstract 980305258

Victoria contains between 3000 and 3500 native species in the greatest number of native vegetation communities within any area of comparable size in Australia. These communities contain a diversity of plants which can be used as cut flowers, and a few of these species are currently being developed for this purpose. Thryptomene calycina was the subject of a selection programme to produce superior floral forms. Baeckea behrii has a floral display which is intermediate between T. calycina and Geraldton wax [Chamelaucium uncinatum], and it flowers late in the season. Work on this species has selected superior forms which have a good vase life. These forms are being assessed on commercial properties around Australia to determine their acceptability. A number of species of Acacia are being selected for their floral display, time of flowering, suitability for export markets, response to pruning and for an acceptable vase life. Postharvest procedures are being developed to ensure the cut stems have an acceptable vase life after air transport. Species of Victorian daisies (Ozothamnus [Helichrysum] spp. and Chrysocephalum spp.) are being assessed for their suitability for cultivation as cut flowers. These species all have a good vase life and a floral display which is similar to rice flower (Ozothamnus diosmifolius [Helichrysum diosmifolium]), except the colour range is from cream to bright yellow and orange. Victorian species of Conospermum have been found to have a good floral display and vase life and further work on these is planned.