Msunduzi considers clivia as council’s official emblem

2010-07-06 00:00

IN what must be a first for the city, the Msunduzi Municipality is considering adopting a native flower that excited interest around the world and making it council’s official emblem.

Otherwise known as the bush lily, the Clivia miniata is indigenous to South Africa and Swaziland and grows naturally in the city and the surrounding forests.

In fact, many city residents probably have these plants growing in their gardens.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, KZN Clivia Club chairperson Francois van Rooyen seemed excited at the prospect of the flower being adopted as Msunduzi’s floral emblem.

He said the flower is “very big” worldwide and has taken cities in Japan, Belgium and China by storm.

“Everyone is totally obsessed by the clivia …” he said.

Van Rooyen said they have scheduled an annual show at the Royal Showgrounds on September 18 and 19 where all provincial growers have been invited to exhibit their plants.

However, Van Rooyen said they are now on the lookout for a new class of clivia that growers have bred themselves.

The one that wins will be called Msunduzi and given to Msunduzi Mayor Mike Tarr.

But Van Rooyen says the idea is not just about naming the plant after the municipality. He said the bigger picture is about creating awareness about the plant because it is under threat.

Van Rooyen said the plant is being used as medicine and fuel by many rural communities and it is “decreasing daily at a rate you can’t believe.

“We’re sitting with a jewel of a plant that is synonymous with KZN and we need to protect it.”

Tarr said the council will recommend that the Clivia miniata be adopted as the official municipal flower.

It will then ask for public comment before asking council to take a final decision.

Council speaker Babu Baijoo, who chairs the full council committee, said he is very excited because “South Africa tends not to capitalise on its assets”.

“ I’m not surprised that someone has taken it to China and made lots of money out of it, because that’s what the Chinese do.”

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