An overview of the flower and foliage industry.
The cut flower and foliage industry in Australia is a specialised part of the horticultural sector and involves growing and selling flowers and foliages for cutting and ornamental display.
Growers mostly produce traditional flowers, of which roses, lilies and gerberas are the biggest sellers. Other flower crops include carnation, lisianthus, tulips, freesias and gypsophila. Tropical crops are also grown in some areas, including heliconia, orchids and ornamental gingers. Some products are in demand at particular times of the year, such as chrysanthemums for Mother’s Day and seasonal bulbs and flowers in spring. Although most traditional flowers are grown under some type of structure or protection such as polytunnels, there are many exceptions. Virtually all traditional flowers are sold on the domestic market.
Australian wildflowers include Australian native flowers and foliages and certain members of the South African Proteaceae family, such as protea, leucadendron and serruria, and are primarily cultivated in plantations. They fall into two broad categories: filler flowers such as waxflower, kangaroo paw and thryptomene, and seasonal feature flowers such as waratah, banksia and protea. Some flowers and foliages are wild harvested under licence. Wildflowers account for ninety per cent of the industry’s exports.