Identifying a Crape

Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, FFebruary 24, 2014

This past January I received a bare-root Crape Myrtle from a local Arbor Day giveaway (Florida's State Arbor Day is the third Saturday of January). When it was given to me, I asked the MG if she knew which cultivar it was so I would know where to put it. She told me that they did not know the cultivars and there could likely be more than one in the bunch they were giving away. So rather than putting it in the ground, I potted it in a sandy mix with nutients mixed in. Last week it started to leaf-out , so it managed to survive (still waiting on other trees acquired to show signs of life). It is currently only about 18-24" tall and there are two stems with one stem branched off the other and no suckers coming from the roots as of yet. I am curious as to if/when I might get the cultivar identified?

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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Probably after it grows for at least several seasons AND blooms we might be able to help you narrow it down a bit.

Crapes are easy to root, so it could be anything really.

If it was seed-grown then it doesn't have a name.

This post was edited by dave_in_nova on Mon, Feb 24, 14 at 12:40

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 12:39PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

The MG did mention that they were seed grown, but then went on to say the bit about different cultivars being possible in the bunch. Pity she didn't just say "seed gown, so there are no cultivars". I haven't been much impressed with my local MG's, if it's not a rose, camelia or turf, they are generally lacking in knowledge. So thank you for the info.

Since it is seed grown, is it pretty much a crap shoot on whether or not it will have a shrub or tree form?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 1:13PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Crap shoot is right. I'd hesitate to grow a seedling crape myself....there's absolutely no way to tell if it will be powdery mildew resistant, if it will have pretty fall color, or if it will be a spindly pile of sticks like so many seedlings are.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 2:43PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

I'll keep it potted a few years then and see what happens. Worst case scenario, it ends up in a mixed shrub border as filler and pollinator food.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 3:18PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

there is only one question ... that i dont know the answer to

do any CMs come true from seed??

if not... then you dont have a cultivar.. and it doesnt matter who mommy and daddy were ... though that info might give you odds on flower color ...

if there are some self pollinating species.. that do come true from seed... then you MIGHT have a cultivar ... but i doubt it... because that is why they were probably a buck a piece ...

its all wrapped up in the word CULTIVAR .. and its definition ...


    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 4:38PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

"I haven't been much impressed with my local MG's...they are generally lacking in knowledge."

Sounds like you just "hit the nail on the head"! Unfortunately, your observations is probably true in many (maybe most) locations.

If I were you, I'd either ditch the seedling crape, or, grow it somewhere that it didn't matter what type it was (how big it got or if it was susceptible to common crape enemies).

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:02PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Agreed about MGs, and about other comments.

There are so many tried and true named cultivar crapes, that it would be a shame to waste space on an unknown, in my opinion.

For me, crape flower color, plant size and form, bark color and exfoliation are all very valuable characteristics of the named cultivars.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 11:22AM
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