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Two new Pearl series waxflowers from WAFEX & Helix Australia

The beauty and uniqueness of Australian native flowers is one of Australia’s points of difference in the international flower marketplace and the innovation behind those products is being celebrated during Australian Flowers Week. Waxflowers (Chamelaucium spp.) are a popular cut flower around the world and are sold into the North American, European and Japanese markets.

Coinciding with Australian Flowers Week, WAFEX, Helix Australia and their breeding partners announce the release of two new white Waxflower hybrids named Batavia Pearl and Leeman Pearl.

There was a serious investment in breeding resources in developing the ‘Pearlflower’ series circa 1997-2005. In addition to the goal of breeding pure white blooms, the Pearlflower series also had the core marketing objective of ensuring there was a Pearlflower in season each month of the Western Australian harvest period (June – October).

Earlier flowering Pearlflower varieties include Denmark Pearl, Esperance Pearl, Albany Pearl, Ivory Pearl and Bridal Pearl.

Both Batavia Pearl and Leeman Pearl have been selected for their white flowering forms, and their later flowering period, starting in mid-September and continuing onto October. This late flowering period is ideal for peak export demand from key export markets in Europe, USA and South East Asia.

Batavia Pearl was derived from an open pollinated seed cross of Chamelaucium megapetalum and Chamaelaucium uncinatum “Alba”. It features a clean white bloom colour with a green centre. In addition, this new Waxflower hybrid exhibits 70 cm stem lengths which are required by both the European and Japanese markets.

Leeman Pearl is the result of a controlled cross between a later flowering Chamelaucium uncinatum hybrid and Chamelaucium megapetalum. Its white bloom colour is complimented by a yellow centre and it also produces long stem lengths.

The naming of these two new Waxflower varieties demonstrates the importance of the Mid West region of Western Australia to the flower trade, the rich maritime history of the area and the strong connections the Australian flower industry has with the Netherlands.

Batavia Pearl is named after the Batavia which is an iconic Dutch East India Company ship which was wrecked on Morning Reef in the Abrolhos Islands off the Western Australian coast in June 1629.

Leeman Pearl is named after the Dutch sailor Abraham Leeman van Sanwitz who was one of four survivors of an epic voyage along the Western Australian coast in 1658.

Craig Musson, WAFEX Managing Director and Helix Australia director said these two new Pearl Waxflower varieties are both perfect examples of the result of a demand driven cut flower breeding programme.

"With increasing competition from Waxflower growers in Peru, we have long stated Australia’s future in supplying Waxflower to global markets is dependent on developing new and unique flowering forms and also targeting flowering periods where Australia can obtain a clear point of differentiation," said Musson. "Both Batavia Pearl and Leeman Pearl will be flowering into October from our Western Australian growers with the potential to provide continued supply into November from our Victorian/east coast growers."

For more information:
Helix Australia
[email protected]
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