CROWN OF GOLD: Robyn Mulvena at Tondoon Botanic Gardens, showing off Gladstone's floral emblem. The tree next to her produces the crown of gold flowers.
CROWN OF GOLD: Robyn Mulvena at Tondoon Botanic Gardens, showing off Gladstone's floral emblem. The tree next to her produces the crown of gold flowers. Matt Taylor GLA020119EMBL

Can you name Gladstone's floral emblem?

GLADSTONE'S floral emblem wears its heart on its sleeve and has been welcoming visitors to our city for many years.

But not many residents could tell you its name.

Curator of the Tondoon Botanic Gardens Brent Braddick said the Crown of Gold (Barklya Syringifolia) tree was returned to its status of Gladstone's official emblem a few years ago.

"They were the original emblem of the old council before amalgamation in 2008,” he said.

"I had them planted along Gladstone Benaraby Road and the Dawson Highway.”

Named after Sir Henry Barkly the governor of Victoria from 1856 to 1863, the species name 'syringifolia' refers to the sprays of bright golden yellow flowers that resemble pipes or tubes.

Mr Braddick said it was an ideal choice to represent the Gladstone region.

"They're very hardy, drought resistant and look spectacular when they flower during the summer months,” he said.

"They grow in the wetter bushland all round the region.

"In the Boyne Valley, Miriam Vale and the coastal scrublands.

"In the wild, they grow up to 15 metres tall, but if grown from a cutting, they'll only reach six metres.”

Deb Vaughan, of Tannum Wholesale Nursery, said the trees can be found growing in many Gladstone backyards.

"They're hard to grow from cuttings or seeds,” she said.

"They're very slow growing so it's almost impossible to buy an advanced tree.

"I've got some I've propagated from seeds but the biggest pots I've got are 140mm.

"They're not propagated commercially because they're hard to grow and not really viable.

"But once established, they're a very hardy tree, extremely drought tolerant and basically don't need a lot of care.

"They're a true Australian native.”

Mr Braddick agreed.

"There are several on the footpath across the road from the off-leash dog park, Webb Park,” he said.

"They were planted years ago and are thriving without any care.

"Although they will respond well to hedging and pruning,” Mr Braddick said.

To have a closer look at Gladstone's floral emblem visit the entrance courtyard to the Tondoon Botanic Gardens and look for the trees wearing their glossy green hearts on their sleeves.