Help pick a flower for the capital city

2010-11-23 00:00

THE time has come for local residents to play an active role in the selection of the city’s flower emblem.

As it stands, a shortlist of appealing flowering plants has already been drawn up and members of the public are now being given an opportunity to voice their opinions.

Msunduzi’s horticulture manager, Sergie Naidu, said professional botanists conducted a lot of research before settling on 10 specific flowers and, in their opinion, those that have been shortlisted are the cream of the crop.

Naidu said a variety of factors were looked at and aesthetics were very important because “it has to be a pretty flower”.

He said all the shortlisted flowers are symbolic in their own right, as well as being indigenous to the province.

Naidu said since Pietermaritzburg is the provincial capital, its emblem must be linkable to its capital status.

Asked if he has a favourite flower from those shortlisted, Naidu laughed and said: “I don’t discriminate against plants,” before admitting to having a soft spot for the Adenium multiflorum.

Msunduzi’s acting community services executive manager, Dr Julie Dyer, said they will not choose a flower that has already been adopted even if it is indigenous, like the strelitzia.

They are now opening up the lines for public scrutiny, recommendations and criticism.

Msunduzi residents can also vote for their favourite flower from those selected and also forward other suggestions, said Dyer.

“We were once known as the city of flowers. There’s no reason why that shouldn’t happen again.”

Last month The Witness reported that full council was against the immediate adoption of the indigenous Clivia miniata as the city’s official emblem because there were a variety of other indigenous plants that were not even considered.

The full council then called for members of the public to be involved in the selection process and also be given an opportunity to suggest alternatives.

Dyer said once they have liaised with the public, they can then make a more informed decision and present it to full council for deliberation.

Those who would like to play a role in the selection process can liaise with Sergie Naidu at sergie.naidu@msunduzi.gov.za.

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