Flowery Frame

One of the beautiful Summer sights along the historic sidewalks of scenic #Charleston is that of the blooming crepe myrtles. We see them in abundance on my walking tours, and many guests ask if they are related to lilacs, which have a similar lacer-looking flower. But the crepe myrtle is in the Lythraceae family of trees, more closely related to the pomegranate, while Lilacs are in the Olive family. Up close the pink and white flowers resemble crepe paper, thus the name, and the bark is very distinctive as well, peeling off in the hot weather as an exfoliation to prevent fungus. The crepe myrtle was introduced to America by French botanist Andre Michaux, who moved to Charleston in 1786 after escaping the French Revolution. This widely-traveled man brought with him three plants native to southern Asia that have become common favorites in our coastal city today – the crepe myrtle, the mimosa and the camellia. <img.src=”Charleston Gardens” alt=”Crepe Myrtle Tree”

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