A new native plant variety developed by The University of Queensland (UQ)’s Dr Dion Harrison, in partnership with the Centre for Native Floriculture, has been launched to commemorate this year’s Australia Day celebrations.
‘Gold Dust’ (Ozothamnus diotophyllus) is the latest native plant released as part of the “Aussie Cottage Collection” of ornamental plants marketed by Aussie Colours, a company established in 2007 by UQ’s main research commercialisation company, UniQuest Pty Limited.
Aussie Colours has the exclusive worldwide licence for the novel varieties that have been developed by the Centre.
Gold Dust is an abundantly flowering Australian shrub with striking yellow flowers and green-grey foliage. With the ability to flower all year round, Gold Dust is suited to both garden beds and patio pots. Gold Dust can handle hot and dry conditions, as well as a moderate amount of humidity, making it an ideal low watering sustainable plant.
Dr Harrison said the Gold Dust rice flower was launched to highlight not only the hardiness of the Australian spirit on Australia Day this year, but also that Australian native plants can be used to bring colour to gardens in all seasons.
“We a very excited to have Gold Dust ready for gardening enthusiasts who a looking to spend the Australia Day holiday adding colour and variation to their gardens,” Dr Harrison said.
“It’s a nice way for us as researchers, too, to see our efforts bring pleasure to fellow Australians and encourage more landscapes to include these beautiful native plants.”
Gold Dust will be available nationwide at a range of retail outlets leading up to Australia Day, including independent garden centres, Masters in NSW and Bunnings and Big W in Queensland.
Aussie Colours now has 10 products in its “Aussie Cottage Collection”, which is designed to give gardeners and landscapers an Australian alternative to the traditional annuals developed in and for Europe. Aussie Colours plants are brightly coloured, drought-resistant and flower all year round, unlike many traditional colourful plants that flower for six to eight weeks.
Aussie Colours has launched one product in the USA and has many more under trial for possible release over the next few years.
UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson, said the Gold Dust launch was another success to add to the Aussie Colours commercialisation story.
“People all around Australia and the world are now enjoying the sight and hardiness of plants developed and marketed by Aussie Colours. The company’s own sustainability over the past five years, despite the GFC, also demonstrates the range of industries to which University of Queensland research and expertise is contributing on a globally reaching scale,” Mr Henderson said.
Aussie Colours also plans to launch a new range of native Hibiscus later this year in time for spring and summer planting.
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About UniQuest Pty Limited
Established by The University of Queensland in 1984, UniQuest is widely recognised as one of Australia’s largest and most successful university commercialisation groups, benchmarking in the top tier of technology transfer worldwide. From an intellectual property portfolio of 1,500+ patents it has created over 60 companies, and since 2000 UniQuest and its start-ups have raised more than $400 million to take university technologies to market. Annual sales of products using UQ technology and licensed by UniQuest are running at $3 billion. UniQuest now commercialises innovations developed at The University of Queensland and its commercialisation partner institutions: the University of Wollongong, University of Technology Sydney, James Cook University, University of Tasmania, Mater Medical Research Institute, and Queensland Health. UniQuest also provides access to an expansive and exclusive network of independent academics to tailor a consulting or project R&D solution to meet the diverse needs of industry and government, facilitating some 500 consulting, expert opinion, testing, and contract research services each year. UniQuest is also a leading Australasian provider of international development assistance recognised for excellence in technical leadership, management and research. Working with agencies such as AusAID, NZAID, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, UniQuest has developed and implemented more than 400 projects in 46 countries throughout the Pacific, South-East Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Africa.
About Aussie Colours Pty Ltd
Aussie Colours is a plant breeding and marketing company maximising the commercial potential of Australia’s native flora. The enterprise was established by UniQuest Pty Limited, the main commercialisation company of The University of Queensland and has maintained links with the Centre for Native Floriculture, an entity within the University. The Centre has an extensive flowering plant selection and breeding program which has been operating since 2003. Investment from the Brisbane Angels and TeQstart has enabled Aussie Colours to flourish as an Australian university start-up and promote unique Australian native plants to gardeners, landscapers and florists all round the world. Aussie Colours also assists other native plant breeders with commercialisation of their varieties, including assessments of commercial potential and development of commercialisation strategies.