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As a comment about Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia 'Ebony Flame'), dave wrote:

The foliage has the blackest leaves I've ever seen on a plant, and the blooms on this one are red like Dynamite or Red Rocket.

I think this is going to be a very popular crepe myrtle. Mildew tolerance, cold resistance and general vigor are yet to be determined.

-- Edited on July 26, 2013 to add that the breeder of this cultivar contacted me to let me know that the Black Diamond cultivars are in fact the Ebony series bred by Dr. Cecil Pounders of the USDA-ARS. For more information, see this thread: The thread "Black Diamond Crape Mytrle" in Ask a Question forum
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Jul 9, 2013 7:34 PM CST
Has this myrtle performed well for you this year? I saw these earlier today at HD and was tempted. I came home, looked it up in the ATP database, and realized I needed to go back and get one. After dinner, we drove back and I purchased two. Some seemed to have flowers that are reverting to pink. They all were tagged "Black Diamond," though.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Jul 9, 2013 7:44 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

It went dormant over the winter, and in the spring it leafed out as expected, but then a sudden late frost zapped the leaves and the plant actually died all the way down to the ground.

Thankfully, crepe myrtles sucker easily and it did eventually send up a few new shoots and it's now about 2 feet tall. No blooms yet.

I love that black foliage!
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Jul 9, 2013 7:55 PM CST
Thanks, Dave. I did find a video from LSU about them, but it didn't mention anything about freezing. I guess it would be safe here. We rarely have killing freezes anymore. They did say it could be pruned to be a 10' tree. I'll just be happy to get it through the heat of summer. Appreciate the update.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jul 9, 2013 7:57 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

That was a really, really late frost that knocked quite a few things back. My Chinese Fringe Tree and my Pomegranate both did the same thing as this Black Diamond. I expect this was a very rare event. I'm sure it'll grow great for you in Austin. Thumbs up
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Jul 9, 2013 8:17 PM CST
Okay, I'm going to hold you to that!

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