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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Miami, Florida » Subtropical Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320064

Research Project: Genetic Characterization, Genetic Improvement, and Best Horticultural Management Practices for Subtropical/Tropical Ornamental Germplasm

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: Lagerstroemia speciosa ‘Big Pink’, an improved pink flowered queen’s crape myrtle

Author
item Meerow, Alan
item Ayala-silva, Tomas
item Irish, Brian

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/26/2015
Publication Date: 10/10/2015
Citation: Meerow, A.W., Ayala Silva, T., Irish, B.M. 2015. Lagerstroemia speciosa ‘Big Pink’, an improved pink flowered queen’s crape myrtle. HortScience. 50(10):1593-1594.

Interpretive Summary: Interpretive Abstract Lagerstroemia speciose, commonly called Pride-of-India, queen’s or giant crape myrtle, is a large shrub or small tree widely used as a tropical ornamental, with landscape utility limited to USDA Hardiness Zones 10-11. This paper describes a pink-flowered seedling selection of the species that has the largest flowers observed on any variety of the species observed. In 2005, the first two authors encountered a variable street planting of L. speciosa in Mayaguez, PR that included pink, purple, light lavender and near white flowered individual trees. At a later date, open-pollinated seed was collected from one tree of each flower color and grown out at the USDA-ARS, Subtropical Horticultural Research Station (SHRS) in Miami, Fla. Six selections that flowered in just under one year from seed, three purple-flowered, two pink, and one light lavender, were established in the field. One of the two pink flowered seedlings immediately stood out for the fact that the flower stems were more compact and the flowers themselves larger than typical. As a result, the flowering display was much showier than typical of pink flowered clones observed in the south Florida landscape. This seedling selection was subsequently propagated by cuttings and established in multiple locations on the SHRS clonal germplasm repository grounds for further evaluation over the past eight years. We announce its availability through the National Germplasm System as PI 675009.

Technical Abstract: Technical Abstract Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers., commonly called Pride-of-India, queen’s or giant crape myrtle, is a large shrub or small tree widely used as a tropical ornamental, with landscape utility limited to USDA Hardiness Zones 10-11. This paper describes a pink-flowered seedling selection of the species that has the largest flowers observed on any variety of the species observed. In 2005, the first two authors encountered a variable street planting of L. speciosa in Mayaguez, PR that included pink, purple, light lavender and near white flowered individual trees. At a later date, open-pollinated seed was collected from one tree of each flower color and grown out at the USDA-ARS, Subtropical Horticultural Research Station (SHRS) in Miami, Fla. Six precocious (flowering in just under one year from seed) individuals, three purple-flowered, two pink, and one light lavender, were established in the field. One of the two pink flowered seedlings immediately stood out for the fact that the internodes of the paniculate inflorescences were shorter and the flowers themselves larger than typical. As a result, the flowering display was much showier than typical of pink flowered clones observed in the south Florida landscape. This seedling selection was subsequently propagated vegetatively by cuttings and was established in multiple locations on the SHRS clonal germplasm repository grounds for further evaluation over the past eight years. We announce its availability through the National Germplasm System as PI 675009.