This newly introduced Crepe Myrtle exploded onto the scene last year and had everyone talking about it. But is this really a new variety, or an older, already existing variety that has been repackaged and rebranded? I investigated the situation, and what I found will surprise you.
The new member @Route66
came to the site and raised the question about Black Diamond when he asked, "Is the plant patented?
In an effort to answer the question, @woofie
and I all started looking into the situation.
It turns out that the Black Diamond™ series of crepe myrtles are in fact the exact same plants as the Ebony series of Crepe Myrtles produced by the breeding work of Dr. Cecil Pounders of the ARS-USDA
. When you buy a Black Diamond crepe myrtle, you are in fact actually buying an Ebony crepe myrtle.
I contacted Dr. Pounders about all this, and he responded by saying, "Yes, Ebony Crapemyrtles and Black Diamond Crapemyrtles are the same clones under different names. Black Diamond Pure White is 'Ebony & Ivory
'. BD Best Red is 'Ebony Flame
'. BD Blush is 'Ebony Glow
'. BD Crimson Red is 'Ebony Fire
'. BD Red Hot is 'Ebony Embers
The Ebony names are the officially registered cultivar names and anyone is allowed to propagate and sell plants under the Ebony names without paying any fees. The practice of selling public domain plants under a trademark is legal and is not a new practice. You usually can identify the practice if you see a trademark plant tag with no ppaf or patent number listed."
So there you have it, Crepe Myrtle fans, straight from the horse's mouth.