New daisy marks 100 years of agriculture

7 September 2010

The faculty has commercially bred daisies at its Plant Breeding Institute since 1988 but the Daisy Crazy Centenary Daisy - available at Australian garden centres from September - is notable for its large blooms and high flower count.

"We've been breeding more compact plants for smaller gardens and balconies but now we have created a bigger plant which has more impact because of its larger flowers," says faculty plant breeder Graham Brown.

"In some ways it's like an old-fashioned daisy like those you used to find in your grandmother's garden, except it has more flowers. People generally like large flowers and these can grow to up to nine centimetres in diameter."

Suitable for larger pots and garden applications, the Daisy Crazy grows into a one-metre tall shrub with the ability to re-flower. Best established in autumn or early spring, peak flowering occurs in late winter and spring. It is fairly drought tolerant, requiring twice-weekly watering for about four weeks after establishment, then only one watering a week afterwards.

"It will take to any reasonable soil or potting mix and full sun," says Graham.

Aside from being available for retail sale this spring, the daisy will be sold at centenary celebrations at the University's plant breeding facilities Narrabri and Camden later this year.

The Daisy Crazy release marks a century where agriculture in Australia has pulled back from the brink of intensive land practices and ventured down a more sustainable path.

In that time the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources has grown from Australia's first Professor of Agriculture, a full-time staff member and four students to a fully fledged faculty with more than 600 students. It offers and teaches expertise in areas as diverse as economics, soil microbiology and bushfire management.

Contact: Plant Breeding Institute

Phone: 02 9351 8805

Email: 2d16260316196103305f1d0a74271b083d062148110f3a744e39