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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

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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Saturday - June 12, 2010

From: Sinton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Leaves of non-native crape myrtle browning in Sinton TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Crepe myrtle tips of leaves are brown and curling up.


There is a plant,  Malpighia glabra (wild crapemyrtle), native in and around San Patricio County on the southern Gulf Coast of Texas; however, we doubt if that is what you have. Check with this website Acerola to confirm that.

More likely what you are growing is Lagerstroemia indica, crape myrtle, as described in this Floridata article. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which they are being grown. Lagerstroemia indica originated in Asia, and therefore falls out of our area of expertise and does not appear in our Native Plant Database.

Gardening Know How has a website Information on Crepe Myrtle Tree Problems 

Auburn University Horticulture Common Crapemyrtle has information on several problems, including leaf curl. 


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