Ten years ago the Australian Special Rural Research Council was determining priorities for the funding of research and development for Australian native cut flower growing and exporting. Views were divided as to whether to develop a diverse selection of native flora or to concentrate on major crop groups such as waxflower, kangaroo paw, Proteaceae and Verticordia. In 1990, the successor to ASRRC, RIRDC set up a specific industry program in Wildflowers and Native Plants with an objective to improve the profitability, productivity and sustainability of the wildflower and native plant industry. Meanwhile, the Australian Flora Foundation Inc. had set up a procedure distributing modest grants from community donations for research on the biology and cultivation of Australian plants. This report details the progress of five projects set up under this scheme and shows what can be achieved with small grants, up to $5000 for one or two years. The report adds to a range of over 250 research publications and forms part of the Wildflower and Native Plants R&D Program, which aims to improve the profitability and sustainability of the Australian wildflower and native plant industry.
Published May 1999