The Norfolk Botanical Garden Lagerstroemia (crapemyrtle) collection is designated an Official Plant Collections Network collection in 2013. Plant Collections Network is a program of the American Public Gardens Association in cooperation with the USDA Agricultural Research Service. As part of this national designation, the Garden is committed to holding and developing collection of documented living plants according to specified standards. In addition, Plant Collections Network-recognized plant collections are available for selection and breeding, taxonomic study evaluation, utilization, and other research purposes.
Crapemyrtles are a group of small to large trees that originated in Asia. A long flowering period in the summer, good fall color, and interesting bark make this an attractive tree for several seasons. This tree was one of the favorites of Fred Heutte, supervisor of Norfolk’s City Parks and later the first Director of the Garden. He planted many at the Garden, as well as more than 40,000 of the trees throughout the city of Norfolk, which today account for over half of all of the city’s street trees.