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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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Tuesday - August 04, 2009

From: Natchitoches, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Expected color of non-native crapemyrtles in Natchitoches LA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

just bought 8 new crepe myrtle trees that are suppose to be dynamite red in color. However, the few bulbs that are on them when you break them open they are white! Does this mean they are going to be white or will they change when the bloom fully develops annd opens?

ANSWER:

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 influences its  color. We have heard of crapemyrtles changing color before, but we have no idea if they will change back.

Here is a website from Floridata on Lagerstroemia indica that will give you some more information.

 

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