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Special knack to emblem propagation

By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.com.au

EIGHTEEN years working as a volunteer with the Gladstone City Council gardens has given Uwe Tams a special insight into the city's floral emblem, the Crown of Gold or Barkly Syringifolia.

Last week, The Observer published a story about how difficult it was to purchase the plant because our local nurseries did not sell it.

But Mr Tams has eleven plants in his garden and all are magnificent specimens.

'I planted these shrubs about six years ago,' he said proudly.

'The Gardens gave me eleven cuttings and every one has succeeded.

'They are extremely difficult to get growing but once they do, the result is stunning.'

This is the second year his shrubs have flowered.

'However, there is a special knack to propagating the Crown of Gold,' he said.

'The first step is to wait for the shrub to finish flowering.'

Mr Tams said this year he would try to propagate it.

'They are not only very hard to grow but they are also very hard to propagate,' he said.

'But the beauty of the shrub is that they are very drought resistant after 12 months of growth, which makes them ideal for Gladstone.'

Mr Tams said if his propagation of the Crown of Gold was successful he wanted to give them to the Botanic Gardens to give to Gladstone residents.

'The plant is worth all the effort ? just look at these specimens,' he said.