Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Crapemyrtle - Lagerstroemia indica

Lagerstroemia indica - courtesy of Vanderbilt University
 Adams County Master Gardener Carolyn Black wrote a very good article recently about Crepe or Crape Myrtles.  Here's an excerpt:
Crepe myrtles are native to the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Northern Australia and parts of Oceania. The common crepe myrtle from China and Korea was introduced circa 1790 to Charleston, South Carolina by the French botanist Andre Michaux. Two hundred years of cultivation has resulted in a huge number of cultivars of widely varying characteristics.

The lovely crepe myrtle even has Biblical notoriety in Isaiah 55: 13 - "Instead of the thorn bush will grow the pine tree; and instead of briers the myrtle will grow."

After blooming, crepe myrtles develop distinctive seed heads, then the leaves fall toward the end of autumn, leaving the colorful, exfoliating bark to showcase during the winter.
Click on the link to read the whole thing.  The website is a joint effort with Adams County, PA Master Gardeners, and Frederick County, MD Master Gardeners. You can click on the link to the right to check in with them regularly.  It's the last link in the sidebar under "Other Blogs".

Here's Virginia Tech's Fact Sheet that has the basics on Lagerstroemia, and a more detailed one on proper pruning techniques, with one section on preventing "Crape Murder."

Crepe Myrtle taken 9/18/11
I have a very old one at home that was on the property when we moved here in 1997 and there are two specimens in the wildlife area.  Jane and crew potted up some seedlings between raindrops yesterday, so there will be some for the plant sale next year.

UPDATE: 10/14/11 - Here's a picture taken on the Fall Garden Tour last month.  I think it's the one at my place but not completely sure.  I copied this from the Franklin County Master Gardener Facebook page where there is a new album up with 55 pictures from the Fall Garden Tour.  From any facebook page, search "Franklin County Master Gardeners PA" and you'll find us.  I believe these pictures were taken by MG Jerry Lewis.

1 comment:

  1. 1. The myrtle (myrrhe, Myrte etc. ) mentioned in the bible absolutely has nothing to do with crapemyrtles as these aren't myrtles (therefore we should write crapemyrtles insteadt of crape myrtles.

    2.Crapemyrtles have been unkown to the writer.

    3. The first plant was brought from Korea by Lagerstroem and not from India.