About the IPWG

Welcome to the International Protea Working Group (IPWG). We are a group from across the globe dedicated to understanding the botany, physiology and ecology of the Proteaceae of both South Africa and Australia and using that knowledge to improve commercial production in areas of breeding, cultivation, postharvest, marketing and supply chain management.

Our research cluster is nearly 30 years old and over that time we have seen introduction of fabulous new cultivars that are now hugely popular worldwide. For growers there is improved reliability of production as we learn more about the cultural requirements such as fertilizers, pest management and irrigation. For consumers, product quality has improved through greater attention to cultivar selection based on postharvest performance as well as form. However, compared with other floriculture crops our research efforts are only touching the tip of the iceberg. There are many research problems which remain unanswered such as postharvest leaf blackening and control of flowering. Demand for Proteaceous flora continues to expand worldwide and the industry has huge potential to grow.

We invite you to join us in contributing to greater knowledge and understanding of this unique family of plants.
You can help to foster research into the biology and cultivation of Proteaceae by joining our research group, and attending our research symposia. The generous support of members, donors and sponsors makes it possible to fund many worthwhile projects.

Membership of the IPWG

Only full members of the ISHS are accepted as members of a Working Group.
IPWG members are encouraged to notify the IPA of existing and new publications for the information of their members.

ISHS Rules for Working Groups

Any scientist, educator or researcher interested in the subject area of the Working Group may become a member of the Working Group.
The business meeting of the Working Group is organized at the same time as a Symposium held by the Working Group.


  1. The Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of a Working Group are elected at a business meeting of the Working Group and must be individual members of the Society.
  2. Only individual members of the Working Group may vote to elect the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson.
  3. The term of a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson terminates at the end of the next business meeting of the Working Group where a new Chairperson and Vice Chairperson are elected.
  4. The Chairman of the Working Group is to confirm to ISHS that the Working Group still wishes to continue.

Office holders 2017-2020

IPWG president: Emily Rigby, Australia
Secretary: Eugenie-Lien Louw, South Africa


IPWG Symposia are held every two to four years in association with an IPA Conference, with the approval of ISHS.   Papers presented at Symposia are published in peer reviewed conference proceedings, the Acta Horticulturae.  IPWG may hold workshops and meetings in the intervening years, which may run concurrently with IPA functions.