Saturday, August 16, 2008

Photography - Crepe Myrtles

When we first moved to the Houston Texas area in the summer of 1995, we lived in an apartment complex for about 6 months while waiting for our house to be built. The apartment grounds were full of crepe myrtles, which I'd never seen before. These will not grow in Philadelphia, where we came from. The summer after we moved into our house, we purchased some crepe myrtles and planted them. At the time I knew nothing about them. For example, I didn't know that some varieties grow into 20 to 30 foot trees (which I'd seen at the apartment) and some grow to be tall bushes (10 to 15 feet), which is what we bought.

I learned this after a few years when I was wondering why my plants weren't developing into trees. Oh, well.

Often, the flowers grow in large clumps, like this photo. This clump is about 12 inches long.

I found a web site which listed more than 60 varieties of crepe myrtle. The variety we have is called Prairie Lace which is different than most in that it has two-toned flowers.

The centers of the flowers are pink and the outer edges are white.

I've noticed this year that the color variation among the flowers is higher than before.

In this picture you can see that some of the flowers are almost all white. Some of these here have just a hint of pink in the center. Some others that didn't photograph well (the darn things would hold still) are completely white.

These here are almost completely pink. Some have just a little white on the edges.

I don't know what this means but overall, it doesn't change the look of the tree.

Crepe myrtles are very common here, and I'm sure, across the south. They are so common in landscaping that perhaps they are being over used. But, even after 13 years in Texas, they still look exotic to me. And they flower forever. They first start to bud in early April and there will still be flowers into November. Then they lose their leaves for the winter.

1 comment:

Motherscratcher said...

It must be nice to live in an area with crepe myrtles. They look nice. In Cleveland, more than anything, we have sludge. Mostly of the brown or dark grey variety.