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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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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Wednesday - September 05, 2012

From: Sonora, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Non native crape myrtle changing bloom colors in Sonora CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Red Rocket Crape Myrtle that was planted a little over a year ago. Last year the bloom was a beautiful deep red and this year it is a Mauvie pink. Is there something I can do to bring it back to its proper color?

ANSWER:

To begin, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow natively. Lagerstroemia indica (crapemyrtle) is native to Korea and China. The cultivar 'Red Rocket' is discussed in this article from Gardening 1,2,3 Getting a Handle on New Crapemyrtle, and credits Dr. Carl Whitcomb with doing extensive research developing the cultivar.

University of Florida Extension Red-Flowered Crape Myrtles has more information on this plant. Here also is a link to a page of pictures of Lagerstroemia indica 'Red Rocket'. If you run your cursor over a picture it will tell you the name of the cultivar. Some of them look mighty pink to me.

 

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