En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Bloom color change in Choctaw Crape Myrtle

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Monday - July 30, 2007

From: Lantana, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Bloom color change in Choctaw Crape Myrtle
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

In 2006 my wife bought a Choctaw Crape Myrtle from a local nursery. It had a tag from Greenleaf Nursery and had several blooms in the "correct" pink color. The plant was 5-6 ft tall. It has grown to about 7-8ft now. When the 2007 blooms came out, they are all white instead of the expected (and previously observed) pink. Any suggestions about why the color change?

ANSWER:

Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia spp.), native to SE Asia, is a widely popular woody ornamental flowering shrub throughout southeastern U.S. landscapes. The widespread use and popularity of Lagerstroemia has lead to its categorization as a "natulalized" U.S. plant. Although the focus of research and the expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is limited to those plants native to North America, we have been checking to find an answer to this interesting problem.

Since no one here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has experienced the phenomenon you describe, we decided to go directly to the source and contacted the Greenleaf Nursery in Park Hill, Oklahoma.

Mr. Leon Mancha of Greenleaf Nursery offered these two possibilities.
"On a cloudy day or just as the flower bud opens, crape myrtle flowers are often white. Exposure to sunlight fully develops the color.
Is there a chance that there is a liner (a cutting that was inadverdently placed in the wrong container) of Natchez or Sarah's Favorite that has outgrown the Choctaw. Look for different color or texture of bark and different leaf size, shape as a clue to what might be happening."

Since you wrote us with the question, the first possibility is probably not the answer, however the second one seems plausible. Check your Crape Myrtle carefully to see if there are in fact two different varieties.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Growing non-native lettuce under artificial light from Washington NY
April 15, 2012 - Which artificial light( UV LIGHT, FLUORESCENT LIGHT AND INCANDESCENT LIGHT) makes a lettuce plant grow the fastest over a time period of 3 weeks and what would be your variables( independent, dependen...
view the full question and answer

Non-native peanutbutter tree suckering in Oregon City OR
August 02, 2011 - I have a beautiful 'peanutbutter tree' in my yard. I have noted that there are plantlets coming up that appear to be attached to the main root(s) of the tree. I have been breaking them off as I don...
view the full question and answer

Moving non-native Iris Germanica in Pennsylvania
May 30, 2009 - I am moving from Northeast Pennsylvania to North Carolina this fall or winter. I was told it was possible to save some of my bearded Iris plants by digging them after they bloom and allowing them to ...
view the full question and answer

Plants native to Caribbean from Charlotte NC
August 10, 2011 - Do you know of any shade tolerant plants native to the Caribbean that may be available to buy at a local nursery? I know this is a tough question to answer on many levels.. essentially, if I wanted t...
view the full question and answer

Is Purple Hopseed poisonous to dogs?
September 03, 2011 - Is the Purple Hopseed plant safe for dogs? We would like to plant a hedge of the purple hopseed at my parents home. They are elderly and have a small (8lb.) dog that they just love so much..I would ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center