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The range and form of species able to be used for horticulture can be increased by using the diversity in natural populations and identifying and collecting superior plants. Western Australia has a diverse flora of over 12 000 species, with significant variation within many species.
This diversity and variation is the major advantage for the development of new Australian plant varieties, either through releasing the better forms in their own right, or using them as parents in plant breeding programs.
To ensure that the widest possible pool of material is used in plant breeding and development work, Kings Park and Botanic Garden undertakes a range of field programs to select and collect new material.
An excellent example of the rewards of sourcing wild material is Anigozanthos rufus 'Kings Park Federation Flame'. This kangaroo paw was a selected seedling from wild seed of Anigozanthos rufus. This plant was Western Australia's state floral emblem for the Centenary of Federation in 2001 and is available commercially.