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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Poplarville, Mississippi » Southern Horticultural Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #316298

Research Project: Small Fruit and Ornamental Genetic Research for the Mid-South

Location: Southern Horticultural Research

Title: 'Miss Frances', 'Miss Gail' and 'Miss Sandra' Crapemyrtles

Author
item Pounders Jr, Cecil
item Sakhanokho, Hamidou

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/7/2015
Publication Date: 11/23/2015
Citation: Pounders Jr, C.T., Sakhanokho, H.F. 2015. 'Miss Frances', 'Miss Gail' and 'Miss Sandra' Crapemyrtles. HortScience. 1721-1722.

Interpretive Summary: Crapemyrtles are popular flowering shrubs and small trees in U.S. landscapes in regions with hot summers in USDA plant hardiness zones 6-10. Reasons for their popularity include ease of production, long-lasting summer bloom, diverse flower colors, growth forms, and striking exfoliating bark on smooth multi-stemmed trunks. The Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, announces the release to nurserymen of three new crapemyrtle cultivars named 'Miss Gail', 'Miss Frances', and 'Miss Sandra'. 'Miss Gail' stands out because of its superior purple flower color, 'Miss Frances' because of its superior red flower color along with an attractive green foliage , and 'Miss Sandra' because of its elite purple flower color and tight vertical growth habit. All three cultivars were field grown and evaluated for 9 years and showed tolerance to common crapemyrtle diseases such as bacterial spot, powdery mildew, Cercospora leaf spot, and “Rabbit Tracks” disorder. Plants of ‘Miss Frances’, ‘Miss Gail’ and ‘Miss Sandra’ thrive in diverse soil and climatic conditions typical of the southern U.S. Crapemyrtles grow and flower best in full sun with adequate moisture, balanced fertility, and a well drained substrate with a pH of 5.0 to 6.5. The new cultivars generally should be top hardy in USDA Hardiness Zone 7 and root hardy to Zone 6 if properly hardened for winter conditions.

Technical Abstract: The Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, announces the release to nurserymen of three new crapemyrtle cultivars named 'Miss Gail', 'Miss Frances', and 'Miss Sandra'. ‘Miss Gail’ resulted from a cross-pollination between ‘Catawba’ as the female parent and ‘Arapaho’ as the male parent. 'Miss Gail' was selected as a superior purple flowered seedling (CM223) within the descendants of the stated cross-pollination. ‘Miss Frances’ resulted from a Lagerstroemia cross-pollination between ‘Gamad I’ as the female parent and ‘Arapaho’ as the male parent. The new crapemyrtle was selected as a superior red flowered seedling (CM224) with attractive green foliage within the progeny of the stated hybridization. ‘Miss Sandra’ resulted from a pollination between an unregistered purple flowered seedling collected in San Antonio, TX as the female parent and ‘Tonto’ as the male parent. ‘Miss Sandra’ was selected as an elite purple flowered seedling (CM78) within the offspring of the stated cross-pollination. The three new crapemyrtles were selected at the Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory in Poplarville, MS, a climate characterized as USDA Hardiness Zone 8B and AHS heat Zone 9. Seedlings were screened under ambient field conditions in containers supplied with overhead irrigation. Plants were exposed to intermittent stress conditions caused by full sun, cool spring nights, high humidity, and summer drought, which are generally considered to be conducive to development of the common crapemyrtle diseases, bacterial spot (Xanthomonas axonopodis), powdery mildew (Erysiphe australian), Cercospora leaf spot (Pseudocercospora lythracearum), and “Rabbit Tracks” disorder. The cultivars 'Miss Gail' (PI 674098), ‘Miss Frances’(PI 674099),and ‘Miss Sandra’ (PI 674100) were registered in 2015 with the U.S. National Arboretum, which is the International Registration Authority for Lagerstroemia, in accordance with the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants-2009.