There are 95 species in the Boronia genus, but only 2 are used as cut flowers. Brown boronia (B. megastigma) is a traditional spring flower in southern Australia primarily due to its beautiful fragrance. They are in fact native to a small area of south-western WA. Flowers are small (1 cm) and made up of fused petals that look like a purple-brown bell with a yellow interior. Some newer varieties have striped brown and yellow flowers. Flowers are borne right along each stem, along with the small aromatic leaves.
Boronia heterophylla has larger pink flowers and a less pronounced, more citrus-like scent. The bell-shaped flowers are pink inside and out. ‘Lipstick’ is a popular variety.
Boronia is grown as a field crop or bush-picked in WA. Most are grown in WA and Victoria.
Types: Lipstick (B. heterophylla), Brown Boronia (B. megastigma)
What to look for
- Buy when at least ½ the flowers in a bunch are open and brightly coloured.
- Choose bunches with a strong scent.
- Avoid bunches with wilted tips, yellow leaves or signs of flower drop.
- Keep cool at all times.
- Strip leaves from the lower half of each stem and wash stem ends thoroughly.
- Recut at least 2 cm off each stem and place in water immediately.
- Always use a preservative as this will help keep open flowers looking fresh.
- Replace vase water with fresh preservative every day.
- Misting is a great idea. Boronia can absorb water through the leaves and flowers.
- B. heterophylla may be sensitive to ethylene. Keep them away from fruit, car exhausts and cigarette smoke.
- Wilted bunches can be revived by submerging the whole bunch in cold water for 2 hours.
Interesting Facts about this Flower
Brown boronia oil is distilled from B. megastigma and used by the perfume industry.
Botanical Name: Boronia heterophylla, B. megastigma
Common Names: Boronia, Brown Boronia, Lipstick
Stem Length: 30 to 60 cm
Country of Origin: Australia
Available Colours: Brown, Pink, Purple