Researchers seeking export success story in anthuriums

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Jun 14, 2013 - Page 5

Taiwan’s horticulturalists are aiming to duplicate the nation’s success in moth orchid development by employing a similar strategy to potted flamingo flower cultivation, a researcher said.

“We see great business potential in potted anthuriums, or flamingo flowers,” said Huang Ya-ling (黃雅玲), an assistant researcher at the Kaohsiung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station.

“They could become the nation’s next big export flower,” she said.

The station has been trying to breed new types of potted flamingo flowers for the past six years and has unveiled two of them so far, Huang said, adding that it plans to unveil a new breed each year.

Taiwan’s flamingo flowers have traditionally been grown from seedlings imported from the Netherlands, but with the locally developed breeds, farmers can now grow “true Taiwanese flamingo flowers,” she said.

Potted flamingo flowers are only sold domestically, but Huang said she hoped they could be exported in the future.

Target markets include Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore, she said.

Taiwan’s flower exports totaled US$194.56 million last year, up 10 percent from 2011. Sales of moth orchids posted a 16 percent increase to US$114.12 million during the same period, government statistics show.