Thursday, August 13, 2009

David Kidwell-Slak cheerfully emasculating Crape Myrtle flowers

Driving past the Crape Myrtle nursery, I noticed David intently concentrating on a Crape Myrtle hung with a lot of bags (containing controlled crosses). David is a shrub researcher at the Arboretum. Apparently because of the recent (pre-today) hot weather, the flowers are popping at an unprecedented rate. David told me he could spend all day emasculating. Well, we can't have unwanted pollen contaminating our controlled crosses. Still....

We're, by which I mean the Shrub Research element of the FNPRU (Floral and Nursery Plant Research Unit), is still working on Crape Myrtles. They are among our most popular introductions. More than half of the Crape Myrtles sold at retail in the US are USNA releases. Pretty impressive; actually it's a bit higher than that but I don't remember quite how much higher. Gotta go water the Library no time for research.

The Nursery that David is facing is an interesting place as it contains many very mature specimens including a number of the "original plants" for some well known cultivars. I heard a rumor that next year we may have a Crape Myrtle event with tours, talks, etc. If we do it would be worth attending!

1 comment:

the kid slak said...

that guy has some monkey arms and needs a shave. but what can you do. researchers.