Industry resources available to help you

The 'tool kit'
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There is a diverse range of tools and publications available to help growers develop their wildflower businesses. You can use them to improve the quality and yield of your crops, improve their market presentation and assess and improve your farm and business plans. This can lead to improved profitability by maximising returns from your current plantation and current investment in infrastructure.


The tools and links to them are as follows:

What cut flower is that?

The essential care and handling guide for cut flower professionals

In 211 pages, this publication contains everything you need to know about sourcing, buying, storing, preparing and selling 116 flower (including  31 wildflowers) and 30 foliage products (12 of these are wildflower species).

Each full-page entry gives the common names, botanical names, availability, vase life, stem length, typical bunch size, colour range, buying tips, care and handling, which floral preservatives to use, ethylene sensitivity, storage temperature, design uses in floristry and special advice. Each product is illustrated with a beautiful colour photograph to aid recognition.

There are several handy charts including

  • Australian native flower products used in floristry,
  • Australian native foliage products used in floristry and
  • The Quick guide to seasonal flowers and foliage

What Cut Flower is That? The essential care and handling guide for cut flower professionals is a general reference resource supporting the SFL10 Floristry Training Package and has been granted industry recognition through the Right Way Program.

You can order your copy from the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation today. The book is printed on JPP synthetic T grade paper which is plastic and fully waterproof, making it more durable when used in the floristry and wider flower industry workplace.

To download as a pdf or order your print copy (cost $60) go to



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5 grower guides published by RIRDC

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These guides, published in 2013, bring together both published and unpublished information, industry expertise and the authors’ considerable experience in the Australian flower industry to help growers and other industry members become profitable commercial growers.

‘Getting started in wildflower production – how to grow Australian and South African species for the cut flower market’ provides a wealth of information for would-be and new commercial growers of Australian and South African wildflowers. It provides advice aimed at assisting potential wildflower growers to make a realistic assessment of their capacity to enter the industry and be successful. It also provides information on all aspects of setting up a plantation and then the growing, harvesting and postharvest handling of wildflowers (flowers and foliage from native Australian and South African species).

Three other guides cover important east coast crops in detail – flannel flower, Christmas bush and waratahs. These individual crop guides provide growers, wholesalers, exporters and retailers with practical information about growing, harvesting and postharvest handling of each crop, from selecting the site to preparing the flowers for market. Particular attention is paid to ‘critical points’— areas that growers have found problematic in the past – sourcing plants, propagating plants, setting up a plantation, managing the crop (pest, disease and weed management, pruning, nutrition), along with harvest and postharvest handling. There are also appendices that explore some production aspects in more detail, for example the relevant Australia wildflower quality specification is included for easy reference.

The 'Wildflower Irrigation Handbook' has been developed to address the key principles of efficient irrigation, with respect to the wildflower industry. It provides guidelines for establishing effective irrigation of in-ground wildflowers for the cut flower market and provides cut flower producers with tools to understand and manage their irrigation system and requirements. These guidelines offer practical steps for the installation, maintenance and management of irrigation systems in ways that save water, protect water quality and maximise productivity.

The research for this handbook was conducted by Agri-Sciences Queensland, Department of Education, Economic Development and Innovation with financial and technical support from the Flower Association of Queensland Incorporated (FAQI).

The titles and links to where they can be accessed are as follows (they are available as free downloads or printed booklets are available to buy):

‘Getting started in wildflower production – how to grow Australian and South African species for the cut flower market’, by Bettina Gollnow, with contributions from industry experts Ross Worrall, Jonathan Lidbetter, Len Tesoriero, David Wood and Bill Yiasoumi. 155 pages. See

‘Growing Flannel flowers for the cut flower market’, by Ross Worrall. 58 pages. See ‘Growing Christmas bush for cut flowers’, by Ross Worrall and Paul Dalley. 73 pages. See

‘Growing Christmas bush for cut flowers’, by Ross Worrall and Paul Dalley. 73 pages. See

 ‘Growing Waratahs for cut flowers’, by Ross Worrall and Bettina Gollnow. 87 pages. See

'Wildflower Irrigation Handbook'. Denyse Corner. 92 pages. See

For more wildflower industry publications, go to and select 'wildflowers and native plants'.


Canopy management manual

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The long awaited manual produced by RIRDC Project No PRJ-003984 is available at

For the commercial production of wildflowers, canopy management, or the manipulation of plant growth, aims to produce high yields of long, straight stems with unblemished, high quality flowers. The methods to achieve this vary, and you need an understanding of plant growth habit to select the right method. This manual will be a big help here!

Given the vast range of products grown by the Australian wildflower industry, it’s impossible to design a single canopy management strategy which will apply to all plants. So this manual provides information on the general and specific growth habit of the most important Australian wildflower products, including the following:

Actinotus (Flannel flower) 

Banksia species with a separate profile for Banksia plagiocarpa  

Brunia and Berzelia  

Ceratopetalum gummiferum (NSW Christmas Bush)  

Eucalypt flowers 




Protea cynaroides (King Protea)  

Protea hybrids  

Telopea speciosissima (Waratah)


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Flower industry careers guide: grow your future

Developed by the Flower Association of Qld Inc. (FAQI)

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The cost and profit calculator for cut flower growers

Developed by FAQI
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A decision support tool that will assist cut flower growers to accurately cost their products leading to better financial decision making during the marketing process. Please got to the link to find out more.

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The 32 wildflower quality specifications and supporting postharvest manual

A project funded by RIRDC
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Go to: quality-specifications-and-postharvest-manual

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The cut flowers best practice guide (also known as the ‘best bunch’ program)

Developed by FAQI
This was developed to improve sustainable farm management and provide information, references and contacts for growers. It is a guide to the farm practices and business operations necessary for cut flower production – rather than being mandatory, these practices are options for enterprises to consider, depending on their specific circumstances. The practices required will depend on the variety of flower, the production system used and customers’ needs. Practices described in this guide can be omitted, modified or added to in order to suit each customer-supplier arrangement. Suppliers should discuss their requirements with their customers/markets and agree on practices that are practical and achievable.

Find out more at:

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A directory of current and completed wildflower R&D projects supported by the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation

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Other sources of information

The bimonthly WFA newsletter includes summaries of current and completed R&D projects along with industry news and events. Go to for-growers-and-value-chain-members

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