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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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

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Tuesday - June 23, 2009

From: Homer, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native crapemyrtles changing color in Homer LA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have six natchez crape myrtles, 2 1/2 years old now. This year, one of them has started blooming in a lavender color. Have you ever heard of this?

ANSWER:

Malpighia glabra (wild crapemyrtle) is the only crapemyrtle native to North America and it is native only to Texas. Lagerstroemia indica (crapemyrtle) is native to Asia and therefore out of our range of expertise. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center we are committed to the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. The non-native crapemyrtle has been so extensively hybridized to get different colors and bloom times that there is no telling what feature in your plant's ancestry caused it to change color. In answer to your question, yes, we have heard of this before.


Malpighia glabra

 

 

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