Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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 - 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.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Swarming insects on non-native willow in Washington PA
September 25, 2011 - I have had a very large, beautiful pillow willow bush/tree growing next to our garage for about 8 years. Last year at the end of August, it began to attract white-faced hornets and yellow jackets by t...
view the full question and answer

Dying non-native red tip photinias in Lexington NC
June 27, 2009 - Large Red Tip bushes, what can I do to keep them alive? I have a few and they are dying. What can I do to save them?
view the full question and answer

Invasive, non-native Eragrostis cilianensis, stink grass
March 22, 2005 - I am writing a children's book for Darby Creek Publishing about smelly plants and animals. I have read that Eragrostis cilianensis is one of the few bad-smelling grasses. Would the purpose of the o...
view the full question and answer

Pruning blue potato tree (Lycianthus rantonnei)
July 14, 2008 - I wrote earlier about a blue potato tree(Lycianthus rantonnei) the top appears dead but if you break a branch it is still green, what would happen to it if I cut all the branches forming at the bottom...
view the full question and answer

Advocacy of non-native plants.
December 10, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Instead of asking a question, I would like to comment on the seemingly discouraging tone on growing plants or trees out of their native habitat that I have observed from rea...
view the full question and answer

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