Traditionally, Australian flowers for export are available from autumn to late spring. There are few cultivated species that enable harvesting and export during the Christmas season, a time of high demand but low supply. Exporters have identified the need for a range of species that can be grown to meet this Christmas demand. The Australian native genus Verticordia has a good range of colours including reds and yellows to gold, with terminal flower forms. To ensure longevity and production of Verticordia as cut flower selections, grafting plants onto suitable rootstocks may be necessary. The key findings of this research are: Verticordia species were identified as suitable scions for grafting; rootstocks were identified as best suited for Verticordia scions; flowering times and production of grafted Verticordia were determined; postharvest characteristics of grafted flowers were determined; and management strategies are provided for grafted flowers.
Published March 2013