Perth to host international conference on Proteaceae and new ornamental crops

A unique opportunity awaits ornamental plant researchers, growers and marketers in August when Australia hosts the VIII International Symposium on New Ornamental Crops, the XII International Protea Research Symposium and the XVII International Protea Association Conference. Combining these three conferences in one is a first and will offer delegates more opportunities to hear from an extensive line up of speakers.

The scientific program of four days runs from August 20 to 24. There are two days of conference presentations combining keynote speakers and concurrent sessions focussed on Proteaceae and related plants, and on new ornamental crops. These are followed by two days of technical field visits to commercial wildflower farms and plant nurseries, leading wildflower exporter WAFEX, and the world renowned Kings Park & Botanic Garden where delegates will look ‘behind the scenes’ at the nursery and research facilities.

Perth was chosen to host the conference because 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the spectacular Western Australian Botanic Garden, within Kings Park. Rated as one of the world’s top botanical gardens, it displays over 3,000 species of the State’s unique flora. Conference delegates will share in the excitement, including the new ornamental plants being released to coincide with the birthday celebrations.

With Western Australia recognised as a biodiversity hot spot, the conference is timed to coincide with the spectacular wildflower season when floral displays are at their best. An optional 4-day pre-conference tour will give delegates additional opportunities to view the local flora and the unique scenery of SW Western Australia. A highlight will be a visit to The Banksia Farm, the world’s only complete arboretum of banksias, with 79 species and 24 infra-generic taxa of Banksia.

Attending this conference provides a rare chance for industry members to meet their counterparts from all over the world – be they researchers, ornamental plant breeders, pot plant growers, and producers or marketers of native South African and Australian flowers. If past conferences are any guide, the knowledge and enthusiasm shared during these few days persists well beyond the conference.
Australian industry members can look forward to sharing our outstanding achievements in new plant and cut flower development and production with the rest of the world.

Delegates can look forward to presentations from the four conference keynote speakers. They are –
Prof Tim Entwisle: highly respected Royal Botanic Gardens Director and scientific communicator and author of the recently published ‘Sprinter and Sprummer, Australia’s Changing Seasons’.
Prof Stephen Hopper: conservation biologist, who has named some 300 plants new to science and has extensive publications in evolution, phylogenetics, ecology and taxonomy.

Mr Pete Kruger: US based General Manager of Ball Ornamentals, who will share his knowledge of plant product development and marketing, emphasizing Australian and South African plants.
Dr Gerhard Malan: a South African renowned for his knowledge and extensive experience of the cultivation and marketing of Proteaceae.

The organising committee is calling for abstracts now. More information on the conference, including registration, key dates and how to submit an abstract is now available on the conference website at

The event is being hosted by the International Protea Association (IPA) and the New Ornamental Crops and International Protea ISHS Working Groups.

The following foundation conference sponsors are acknowledged: The International Protea Association, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and the Perth Convention Bureau.

For more information and images please contact Bettina Gollnow by email at