Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Support the plant database you love!

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

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

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

TIF 419 Bermudagrass vs. Zoysia
September 03, 2008 - I'm currently faced with the decision to sod my yard with TIF 419 or Zoysia. Zoysia is double the price so my knee jerk reaction is to go with Bermuda. Proponents of Zoysia claim it requires less m...
view the full question and answer

pruning crape myrtle (ugh, non-native)
March 05, 2012 - We would like to plant a Dynamite Crape myrtle in front of our front window. They grow 20' to 30'. Can I trim it each year to about 15' to 20'? Should we plant it approximately 5 feet from the ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native althea in White Oak TX
June 10, 2011 - I have an althea bush that is 2 years old. I have never had a problem with it before but this year only half of it has leaved out and is blooming. The other half has some very small leaves and very sm...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of non-native closet plant
August 26, 2008 - I have a closet plant that is not doing well no matter what I do or where I put it. What is the best way to care for one of these beautiful plants?
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming climbing rose in Conroe, TX
October 09, 2009 - I have a climbing rose and it has never bloomed and has no thorns, it was a cutting from another rose bush. I have given it water and fertilize and have mulch around it also.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.