Location: Floral and Nursery Plants ResearchTitle: A new nothospecies in Lagerstroemia (Lythraceae)
Submitted to: Phytotaxa
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/27/2022
Publication Date: 3/17/2022
Citation: Whittemore, A.T., Schori, M. 2022. A new nothospecies in Lagerstroemia (Lythraceae). Phytotaxa. https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.539.3.10.
Interpretive Summary: This contribution provides a scientific name for a hybrid crapemyrtle that is widely used in horticulture. Crape-myrtle cultivars derived from crosses between Lagerstroemia faurei and L. indica are widely grown across the warmer parts of the United States and in similar climates around the world. A full scientific description and illustrations are given for the hybrid, and a type specimen (required under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature) is designated here. Data supporting the scientific validity of L. faurei, one of the parental species, is presented. A stable, accurate nomenclature, based on names that are clearly described and documented with adequate specimens, is essential for communication among botanists and horticulturalists. Naming this species in accordance with the technical standards of the field, as set forth in the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, ensures that the name will be applied consistently, minimizing errors and miscommunication among plant scientists, growers, and users. In particular, this provides a stable, scientifically well-founded name for use in the Germplasm Resources Information Network, an ARS resource used by scientists, horticulturists, and interested amateurs worldwide.
Technical Abstract: Crape-myrtle cultivars derived from crosses between Lagerstroemia faurei and L. indica are widely grown across the warmer parts of the United States and in similar climates around the world. Plants with this hybrid ancestry vary widely in appearance, from shrubs to small trees, with limbs upright to widely spreading, bark ash-grey to deep orange, and petals white, purple, or red, all of these characters varying independently in different genotypes. In view of the frequency and economic importance of this hybrid, a Latin binomial, Lagerstroemia x egolfii, is here provided for the nothospecies. In order to clarify the best taxonomic treatment for the parents of L. x egolfii, the status of L. faurei is reinvestigated; the preponderance of evidence clearly supports its status as a distinct species.