By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au
THIS is Gladstone's floral emblem, but you cannot buy one in our fair city.
Despite the Crown of Gold or Barklya Syringifolia, being Gladstone's flower of choice since 1997, it has dried up from our local nurseries including our council-run nursery at Tondoon Botanic Gardens.
The problem began in 2002 when Gladstone City Council cut the gardens' nursery back to one day a week because of budget restrictions.
But in recent times, despite residents and visitors attempting to buy the native plant to take as a memento of the area, it can't be bought.
It can be found in the backyards of many Gladstone homes, but it seems the flower is too hard to grow from seed or cuttings.
Ruth Crosson from the Society for Growing Australian Plants, wants the council to get the plant back into our city.
'It's so ridiculous to have a floral emblem no one can get,' Mrs Crosson said.
'I want the council to take more responsibility for propagating these trees for the people of Gladstone.'
During Wednesday's council meeting, deputy mayor Gail Sellers questioned the decision to adopt the plant as a floral emblem in the first place, with the plant reported as being unreliable and difficult to grow.
'I can't understand why the plant was sold to us from Parks and Recreation in the first place,' she said.
'How is this going to look to the community? They're looking to buy it and you can't even get it in Gladstone.'
The council is encouraging local nurseries to propagate the plant.
However, according to one local nursery manager, it isn't that easy.
"They are an extremely difficult plant to propagate,'' said Judy Weinert, manager of Gardenlovers.
'You could plant 23 trees and none of them could grow, the success rate is very low.'