Crepe Myrtle Confetti After a Storm

Last night’s quick storm left evidence, but mostly of the subtle kind. We didn’t have to leap over any downed hackberry trees on our morning dog-walk. We did step on confetti, and lots of it.

Crepe myrtle wins as leading indicator of subtle disturbance because blooms are at their peak, and the neighborhood—and the city, and the South—has plenty of crepe myrtle. The flowers are available to be ripped in quantities and spun where directed. Red, pink and white confetti line streets and sidewalks, and in more than one lawn lie atop as if sprinkled by a careful hand. 

Can you get more Southern Living than a crepe myrtle in a bed of pine straw? Than a line of crepe myrtles by the driveway? The bark is gorgeous, the (correctly pruned) trunks are living sculptures.

hot pink crepe myrtle sidewalk
Hot pink crepe myrtle confetti
hot pink crepe myrtle confetti yard
Watermelon crepe myrtle confetti distributed atop lawn
red crepe myrtle street
Red crepe myrtle confetti down an entire block, both sides

Here’s a shocker: do you know crepe myrtles are not native? I knew they weren’t native here in Middle Tennessee, but I’d assumed they were from farther south, especially because we once ate lunch in a little town in Georgia which called itself The Crepe Myrtle Capital of America. Garden centers sell specimens labelled Kiowa, Natchez, Choctaw, Tuskegee and the like: names as American as apple pie, or more accurately, as persimmon pemmican.

But, I just this minute learned that all these very Southern crepe myrtles are cultivars of species in the genus Lagerstroemia, which originates not in the Southeast, but Southeast Asia.

How about that?

crepe myrtle bark
Crepe myrtle bark

Bonus pics from our post-storm dog-walk:

hackberry twig down
Hackberry twig
dog and honey locusts
Honey locust pods
prickly pear mouse face
No storm damage here: just a nice Mouse Face in the prickly pear cactus


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