Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Yes, most of the USNA Crape Myrtles are pastels, but we have some warm and wonderful plants that're still being evaluated

Here's what's happening the way I see it. It's possible I'm wrong, hey I'm wrong every day, but I think 'Tuscarora' (a large CM with coral flowers and good exfoliating bark) is becoming the new 'Natchez' (the perennial best selling CM, a large white-flowered plant with great bark) because it's a nice warm color. I like reds that are on the coral side of the blue/yellow line. I'm not a trend setter, I tend to like what other people like and people are buying 'Tuscarora'.

Ginny Rosenkrantz visited Dr. Carl Whitcomb in Stillwater, Oklahoma and wrote a short piece in this week's IPM Alert from the University of Maryland Extension Service. He's known for adding real red to the palette  While there have always been "red" Crape Myrtles, the reds weren't good colors.Whitcomb changed that with 'Dynamite' and 'Red Rocket', both very upright and wonderfully red: . They really are spectacular, but I'd still like to see more Crape Myrtles with warm pinks added to the mix: colors that work well with yellows and oranges, which are the colors of summer. We have them. I see them every year in the Research Fields and every year I lobby for movement because I'm impatient and don't want to wait for thorough evaluation. Some of them are latish bloomers; wouldn't it be nice to have a warm pink/coral crape myrtle flowering near yellow/orange fall foliage?  Of course it would!

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