French stamp on Tasmanian rose production paying dividends in cut flower market

When you buy a bunch of roses, do you look for color or freshness? Perhaps it's the shape of the rose or stem length? There are many genetic traits flower breeders select to ensure roses grown for the cut flower market arrive at their final destination in premium condition.

Some of these traits originated in France by international breeder Meilland. Matthias Meilland said the company worked with growers across the world to develop commercial roses, including in Tasmania.

"The game is that it's selected here for the conditions of Australia and specifically Tasmania," he said. "It's productivity per meter square, disease resistance, can it resist the shock of heat and shock of rain?

Meilland has been with working with the Lee family from Tamar Valley Roses in northern Tasmania for more than four decades. Each year between 10 and 20 new French varieties are tested on the farm at Rosevears for commercial suitability. The plant material can take up to six months to clear Australian quarantine before they reach the property.

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