Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority staff at Kings Park have bred new varieties of waxflower (Chamelaucium) for the cut flower and potted plant markets. As part of the commercial release, the plant breeding rights have been secured to protect the intellectual property of the new varieties for the European market for the next 20 years.
This means that Western Australia will get a royalty for each sale, which will result in millions of dollars in revenue for the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority and WA. This will also help prevent illegal sales of varieties bred at Kings Park.
Chamelaucium is endemic to WA with over 30 species, including the iconic Geraldton Wax (Chamelaucium uncinatum). Geraldton Wax was one of the first Western Australian species exported and grown in countries across the world as a garden plant and highly valued cut flower since the 1940s.
The major growing centres for the global cut flower trade for Geraldton Wax and new hybrids of waxflower are Israel, the United States of America, South Africa and Australia, with Zimbabwe, Chile, Peru, Portugal and Mexico also producing. Israel has the largest production with nearly half the amount sold in 2021, followed by the USA, South Africa and Australia.
As stated by Environment Minister Reece Whitby:
“Securing plant breeding rights in the European market is a major achievement for the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority and State Government.
“It protects our intellectual property and ensures a return on our investment through royalties on all plants sold.
“This project clearly demonstrates the importance of government and commercial enterprises successfully working together.”