While Brides across the nation are turning towards native flower bouquets it seems their waratahs and banksias often get intermixed with noxious weeds much to the horror of Bio-Security experts.
And the Queensland Farmers Federation is speaking now instead of “Forever holding their peace”.
QFF says the farmer nightmares, such as cotton bush and asparagus fern are way too often being used now as bouquet fillers with florists unaware of the toxic nature of the plants and the potential bio security risks not to mention some species that pose risks to humans as well.
The organisation is calling for more industry and public awareness.
Weeds cost the Australian Agriculture industry more than $2.5 billion a year.
Flowers Australia Executive Officer Shane Holborn says his organisation is working hard to educate florists as quickly as possible.
He says the industry is rife with confusion.
“They just don’t get it…A lot of the response is ’why is it a problem, we’re taking the weeds out of the environment?’ They don’t understand what happens next-By taking those weeds and selling them and then passing them around they’re potentially spreading them.”
‘At the moment, if a florist sees a massive weed patch of asparagus fern they’ll note it and go back to it.’
“In fact, they have a joke name for the stuff – They call it ‘road-sidea.”
Mr Holburn says the industry body is stepping up its work to educate florists and the public to look to things like koala fern, goanna claw, dingo ferns and emu fathers instead of the weeds.
“They’re already developed and they’re already commercially available but oftentimes they’re a fraction more expensive and you can’t find them for free on the side of the road.”