Pictures of the Day

There is one bright side to the extreme heat and drought plaguing Texas right now: it’s apparently been good for crape myrtle trees.  Botanists around the Dallas area have noticed crape myrtle blossoms are more bountiful and colorful this year than in the past; possibly a reaction to the extreme weather conditions.  Crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) are native to China and were first brought to North America in the late 1700’s.  They didn’t become popular in Texas until the 1920’s where they actually suffered due to the heat.  But, horticulturists worked over time to breed sturdier crap myrtles and the result has been extraordinary.

The crape myrtle allee at the Dallas arboretum is in full bloom displaying the summery watermelon-red flowers. Photo by Brad Loper, Dallas Morning News.

 

‘Dynamite’ crape myrtle is a cherry-red variety with an almost neon brightness. Photo by Brad Loper, Dallas Morning News.

 

Young ‘Dynamite’ crape myrtles at the Dallas arboretum are in full bloom displaying the deep red flowers. Plant breeders have been working to improve this Southern favorite to make them flower longer with more vivid colors and to make them less prone to diseases. Photo by Brad Loper, Dallas Morning News.

 

Crape myrtle called ‘Natchez’ with its white flowers and beautiful bark pattern at the Dallas arboretum in Dallas. Botanist Don Egolf developed this hybrid from the 1960’s to the 1980’s. Photo by Brad Loper, Dallas Morning News.

 

Crape myrtle called ‘Natchez’ with its red bark pattern at the Dallas arboretum in Dallas. These hybrid trees not only exhibit superior powdery mildew resistance, but also colorful exfoliating bark in tones of tan, orange and brown. Photo by Brad Loper, Dallas Morning News.

 

Crape myrtle alley at the Dallas arboretum is in full bloom displaying the watermelon red flowers. Photo by Brad Loper, Dallas Morning News.

 

A crape myrtle at the World Collection Park in McKinney, texas. The town recently opened the World Collection Park, planted with all known species and varieties, and 15 miles of boulevards planted with the hardy flowering trees and shrubs. Photo by Louis DeLuca, Dallas Morning News.

 

A scenic shot of the crape myrtle trees looking north near the intersection of Alma and Stacy in McKinney. The town recently opened the World Collection Park, planted with all known species and varieties, and 15 miles of boulevards planted with the hardy flowering trees and shrubs. Photo by Louis DeLuca, Dallas Morning News.

McKinney has a new World Collection Park, planted with all known crape myrtles species and varieties, and 15 miles of boulevards planted with the hardy flowering trees and shrubs. Photo by Louis DeLuca, Dallas Morning News.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Pictures of the Day

  1. Hi, Chief. We had 72 pine trees cut down and planted crepe myrtles spring of last year. They are blooming and beautiful!

  2. Elizabeth McCormack

    Hi! I am just inquiring, in regards to the Dynamite Crepe Myrtle Tree. Where can I purchase this particular tree from in Australia, as I live here in Melbourne, Victoria. I have seen other Crepe Myrtle tree colors, but! NOT the red, like this dynamite Myrtle.

    I want one, for a very small area of garden, in my front yard.
    Could you get back to me ASAP.

    Thanks

    Liz

    • I’m not too familiar with Australian horticulture. But it seems the southwestern U.S. has much in common with Australia, especially your western regions – at least from a climatological viewpoint. I don’t know if crepe myrtles are sold down there. You’d have to conduct research. But they are hardy trees, which seems ironic when you look at their colorful blooms and small leaves. Thanks for visiting! Good luck.

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