Cut-flowers in South Africa

© Marinda Louw
After being sold at the Multiflora Flower market in Johannesburg, flowers are allocated to buyers and loaded onto the buyer's trolley.

The commercial farming of flowers is termed floriculture.

Floriculture in South Africa can be seen as two-fold. Firstly, it is the production of non-indigenous flowers and foliage such as roses, carnations, chrysanthemums and grasses. Secondly, floriculture in South Africa also includes the cultivated production and wild harvesting of fynbos or ‘Cape Flora’. ‘Cape Flora’ is the term used by retail flower buyers to describe South Africa’s ‘indigenous’ cut-flowers and foliage.

Proteas have been associated as a typically South African produce, but are farmed worldwide, in contrast, chrysanthemums farmed in South Africa, are popular in the Middle-East. The complexity of the flower industry requires much capital, specialist knowledge and the right markets, which demands meticulous planning. 

In this section, we will focus mainly on ‘Cape Flora’ and the South African indigenous cut-flower industry.

By Marinda Louw

Exports and Markets of Indigenous Flowers

In South Africa, the production of indigenous cut-flowers for export is focussed mainly on proteas, Leucospermum, Leucadendron and ‘greens’ and a combination of these in bouquets....more

Indigenous Cut-flowers of South Africa

Indigenous cut-flowers from South Africa include a range of farmed and wild-harvested flowers and greenery - foliage. Retail buyers often use the generic term ‘fynbos’ to refer to the selection of wild flowers....more

Production of Indigenous Cut-flower

Proteas, recognised world-wide as flowers ‘indigenous’ to South Africa, actually grow wild in many countries, in fact, on all of the southern continents of the world....more

The Flower Industry in South Africa

The cut-flower industry in South Africa is divided into two sectors - Cape Flora SA and the South African Flower Growers Association....more

The History of Protea Production

The ancient plant family Proteaceae existed on earth 140 million years ago, even before the separation of the Gondwanaland continent....more