Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)
Lagerstroemia species are deciduous shrubs or trees with geographic origins in China, Japan, and other parts of Southeast Asia.
Private individuals, nurseries and public institutions, have developed many cultivars of crape myrtle. In 1962, the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington D.C. began a crape myrtle breeding project with Lagerstroemia indica. Major advances occurred when L. subcostata and L. fauriei were introduced into the breeding program in 1966. The resulting hybrids were highly ornamental and resistant to powdery mildew. As a result of the late Dr. Donald Egolf's efforts, the U.S. National Arboretum has released over 24 selected for cold hardiness, for resistance to powdery mildew, and for varying heights, habits, flower colors, fall foliage colors, and bark characteristics. All U.S. National Arboretum cultivars have Native American names.
Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”
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