Future Fynbos, a breeding company based in South Africa is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and what better way to celebrate it than with a new colour?!
In this article more about Leucospermum, the export figures of this genus, the Ayoba® brand, the newly released Leucospermum colour, and what Future Fynbos has in the pipeline for the future.
The Family Proteaceae is found distributed over the African, South American and Australasian continents (former Gondwanaland). There are 82 Genera in the family, the most widely known of these is the Macadamia. Another outstanding fact about this family is that none of the genera are shared on the different continents.
The Proteaceae of South Africa, focusing on four main genera, namely Protea, Leucadendron, Serruria and Leucospermum, has developed into a successful global cutflower industry since the first commercial plantings in the early 1900s with South Africa still leading the way. South Africa is one of 13 countries currently growing the family commercially.
From the family Proteaceae, the genus with the highest quantity of exported stems sold from South Africa is Leucospermum. According to Cape Flora SA 2021/2022 statistics, a total of 15 million Leucospermum stems were exported from South Africa during last season (48% of the total stems sold of the four main Genera – 3 year average). Export volumes of Leucospermum picked up 29% from the previous season and are expected to be similar for the coming season. South African exporters estimate 67% of South African Proteaceae is exported to Europe.
Breeding to fill the gaps in the market
Future Fynbos focusses on these four main commercial genera within the Proteaceae family occurring in South Africa. The company was officially established in 2003 and focusses on protected, branded and managed varieties within the Proteaceae family. This is done through a focused breeding programme. Through the breeding programme several new varieties of cutflower and potplant have been released to growers over the past 20 years under the Ayoba® brand. Breeding is specifically targeted to fill the gaps in the market. Each new variety goes through stringent field and vase life evaluations before being released. It takes approximately 10 years to bring a new variety to the market. Once a variety has been released there is research that is carried out to maximise the growing of the variety.
New colour ranges of Ayoba® Leucospermum are coming into production for the first time this year.
A brand new colour Ayoba® Pink enters the market as a cutflower this season with limited availability from September to November.
A first in the pastel range Ayoba® Pink will add a feminine quality to the already colourful basket of commercially available Ayoba® Leucospermum ie. Ayoba® Sun, Ayoba® Peach, Ayoba® Orange, Ayoba® Yellow and Ayoba® Red. Master Florist Gregor Lersch on the new Ayoba® Pink; ‘This new colour can be used in a more feminine way and is very exciting for the Proteaceae industry—it could start a whole new ERA for this family’.
More colors to come
There are more colour tones in the pipeline. It will be a year of pink for Future Fynbos with a hot pink and marshmallow pink colour coming up.
Future Fynbos aims to remain at the forefront of the development of new varieties of Proteaceae that can be protected through plant breeders rights and managed globally for the benefit and sustainability of our company but also for the benefit of South Africa.
“It is generally said that a horticultural industry is only as good as its cultivars, and certainly in the case of floriculture one can add the rate at which new cultivars are placed on the market.” Soutter (1984)