WILTING INDUSTRY:The new species is expected to revive interest in the local tulip industry, which has declined over the past few decades due to extreme weather and diseases
Date: Oct 01, 2015
By: Chen Wei-han / Staff reporter
The Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday said it has bred a new species of Siam tulip in
the hopes of reinvigorating the local flower industry and developed a paper test kit for detecting orchid viruses.
Native to Thailand and introduced to Taiwan in the late 1970s, the Siam tulip, or Curcuma alismatifolia, is not related to the tulip, but to various ginger species, such as turmeric, the council said, adding that the Siam tulip gets its name from its tulip-like flowering pattern and is one of the most ornamental flowers of the various ginger species; commonly sold as a cut flower that can last for more than 10 days.
The Siam tulip industry in Taiwan bloomed following the introduction of a pink-flowering variety in the late 1970s, but the industry has declined and the flower’s planting areas have reduced to about 5 hectares, the council said.
The decline has been linked to extreme weather and serious plant diseases, which have reduced the flower’s quality and farmers’ revenue, the council said, adding that the species available on the market have gradually lost their popularity and are generally only used as religious offerings. [FULL STORY]