Clivia picked as capital’s flower after all

2010-12-01 00:00

THE public has voted, the votes have been tallied and the front runner for the city’s official flower emblem has now been revealed.

Msunduzi’s horticulture manager, Sergie Naidu, said 73 votes had been received since the initiative began last week.

Of those 73, the Clivia miniata, or bush lily, scored 46 votes to claim the first prize.

The runner-up, Kniphofia caulescens, came a distant second with a total public buy-in of just seven votes.

In third place is the Scadoxuz puniceus with a total of five votes and hot on its heels with four votes is the Gerbera aurantiaca.

The Aloe pruninosa and the Adenium multiflorum are tied for the fifth spot with three votes apiece along with the azalea, which was not part of the original line-up.

The Scillia natalensis only managed to find favour with two members of the public.

Three of the 10 flowering plants that were short-listed failed to get any votes, namely the Hypoxis colchicifolia, Eucomis automnalis and Albuca fastigiata.

Naidu said the initiative also received suggestions for the jacaranda, Agapanthus praecox and Dietes grandiflora.

The matter will now be presented to full council before a final decision is taken.

Francois van Rooyen, chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal Clivia Society, said his members are “obviously... very, very happy”.

He said the plant is synonymous with the province and most residents have it in their gardens.

Van Rooyen said he was somewhat taken aback when the full council called for public participation even after the executive committee had supported the adoption of the Clivia miniata.

In hindsight, however, it was the right way to go about it, he said.

“It was the first step to having it recognised,” said Van Rooyen.

He said this traditional medicinal plant is under threat from over-harvesting and its adoption as the official flower emblem can create more awareness for its preservation.

“It’s a plant that’s dear to our hearts,” he said.

Van Rooyen said the initiative can also be used as a show- piece for other municipalities, which might be encouraged to follow the Msunduzi Municipality’s lead in also adopting flowering plants indigenous to their areas.

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