ORNAMENTAL EUCALYPTS: FROM AN IDEA TO A COMMERCIAL REALITY
The Eucalypts, or Gum Trees (genera Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Angophora) contain unique flora with over 800 species throughout Australia (and its closest northern neighbours) and represents one of Australias greatest floral icons. Eucalypts play a vital role in all Australias ecosystems providing habitat for native birds, insects and animals. Eucalypts inhabit a diverse range of habitats, from dry deserts, to lush rainforests and windswept coastal cliffs. There are a great number of species that are rarely seen in cultivation, with highly ornamental flowers, leaves, buds, and fruit, and small habits. Researchers at the University of Adelaides Ornamental Eucalypt Development Program (OEDP) have been investigating the development of ornamental eucalypts since 1991, using controlled pollinations to investigate relationships between species and to breed new interspecific hybrids. The new hybrids then undergo selection and development for suitability for different markets. Clonal propagation is a major bottleneck to new variety development, and while grafting is commonly used for some varieties of flowering gums, this program has sought to develop tissue culture methods for propagation of selected forms. The Program is now in the final Proof of Concept phase, with large scale trialling of the first round of selections. The OEDP is an example of where collaboration between University-led research and Industry-focused development, can produce outcomes that benefit all key stakeholders. This paper will report on the process we have undertaken from idea to variety.
Delaporte, K. and Rigden, J. (2015). ORNAMENTAL EUCALYPTS: FROM AN IDEA TO A COMMERCIAL REALITY. Acta Hortic. 1097, 213-220
Eucalyptus, Corymbia, hybridisation, clonal propagation, reproductive biology, variety development, selection