'Acoma' Crapemyrtle - Lagerstroemia 'Acoma'

'Acoma' Crapemyrtle – Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei 'Acoma'
'Acoma' Crapemyrtle White Flowered Inflorescence

The ‘Acoma’ Crapemyrtle is the product of persistent improvement study and work, which lasted about a decade and a half, conducted in the U.S. National Arboretum under the guidance of agronomist – researcher Dr. Donald Roy Egolf.

The main features of the hybrid include its resistance to powdery mildew, its large white flowers, its prolonged flowering mainly during the summer months, as well as its attractive semi-arched shape.

And although it is not one of the most popular of its species today, it is still a reliable choise of Lagerstroemia hybrids for the plant lovers, gardeners and landscape architects.

Somewhat like "Kalliergeia" that is.

During the flowering period, the cultivar of Lagerstroemia ‘Acoma’ will hard to go unnoticed.

Blooming Shrub of the Lagerstroemia’s Cultivar 'Acoma'
Blooming Shrub of the Lagerstroemia’s Cultivar 'Acoma'
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'Acoma' Crapemyrtle - General Elements

The basic characteristics of ‘Acoma’ Crape Myrtle, together with some concise identifications, are given immediately below.

Facts in Short

Family: Scrophulariaceae

GenusLagerstroemia

Scientific Name: Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘Acoma’

Common Names: Acoma Crepe Myrtle, Lagerstroemia Acoma, Crepe Myrtle Acoma, White Crepe Myrtle, Weeping Crepe Myrtle

Plant Breeder: Dr. Donald Roy Egolf – U.S. National Arboretum, 1972

Features

The ‘Acoma’ Crapemyrtle hybrid is one of the earliest cultivar of the species that showed high resistance to powdery mildew and is a creature of the U.S. National Arboretum.

The project began in 1969 with the crossing of Lagerstroemia indica ‘Pink Ruffles’ with Lagerstroemia indica and Lagerstroemia fauriei and was successfully crowned in 1972.

It was propagated and after being evaluated for 14 years it was finally released in 1986.

The hybrid ‘Acoma’ Crapemyrtle has white flowers, is completely resistant to mildew, and as a shrub acquires moderate dimensions.

Its height varies between 3 to 3.5 m (10-11.5 ft) and its diameter is between 3.5 and 4 m (11.5-13 ft), while according to U.S. National Arboretum at the age of 15 will be 2.8 and 3.4 m (9.5-11 ft) respectively.

Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘Acoma’

'Acoma' Crapemyrtle - Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei 'Acoma'
Blooming Inflorescences and Leaves of the Hybrid 'Acoma' Crapemyrtle

This hybrid of Crapemyrtle is suitable for:

  • Specimen
  • Mass plantings
  • Informal hedges
  • Urban plantings
  • Pots & containers

'Acoma' Crapemyrtle - Morphological Elements

The ‘Acoma’ Crapemyrtle hybrid is a perennial, woody, deciduous, semipendulous shrub. It has a medium growth rate and a medium size, with dimensions much smaller than those of the typical species.

Its shape is vase or spherical-flattened, the canopy is symmetrical with a regular outline, it is of medium texture and compact appearance.

Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘Acoma’

'Acoma' Crapemyrtle - Botanical Description

Branches

The branches are covered by bark which is light grey to grey in color and is relatively smooth in texture. As in almost all varieties and hybrids of Crapemyrtle, it is exfoliating, but in ‘Acoma’ Crapemyrtle this characteristic is more pronounced.

When the plant is formed in a tree as well as in winter, the exfoliated bark gives to it greater aesthetic value, revealing a greyish-green color.

Shoots & Twigs

The ‘Acoma’ Crapemyrtle is a multistemmed shrub. The plant develops from the base many well-branched shoots, which are slightly pendulous. Their color is initially dull brown to become grayish-green over time. The twigs are thin and their color is brownish-green.  

Leaves

The leaves are ellipsoid, slightly glossy, initially dark bronze tinted, in maturation get a dark green color and in autumn they become greyish red and purple-red.

The length of the lamina varies between 4 and 7 up to 10 cm (1.5-2.8 up to 4 in), while their width is between 2.5 and 5 cm (1-2 in).

Flowers

The flowers, which were also one of the main improvement targets of the Lagerstroemia breeding program, are broughted on the tips of new growth on a 15 to 19 cm (6-7.5 in) conic inflorescence.

They are abundant, their color is pure white, while golden-yellow anthers emerge from their center.

Blooming is recurrent and the flowering period is long, with a duration of 90 to 110 days, starting from the end of June and ending in late September.

Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘Acoma’

The White Flowers and the Buds of Lagerstroemia’s Hybrid
The White Flowers and the Buds of Lagerstroemia’s Hybrid

'Acoma' Crapemyrtle - Environment of Establishment

Temperature

The ‘Acoma’ Crapemyrtle hybrid is less tolerant to cold than the typical species. Its resistance to low temperatures ranges from -12 to -15 °C (10.4- 5 °F), according to U.S. National Arboretum.

With very high temperatures it does not face particular problems, as long as the plant is regular irrigated.

Soil and pH

In terms of soil, it prefers heavy loam to clay soils, which are cool and drain, while in terms of soil pH those ranging between 5 and 6.5.

Exposure

As for the exposure, it is recommended to always be planted in sunny places – as it is the case with all other cultivars and varieties of Lagerstroemia.

'Acoma' Crape Myrtle - Care

The Lagerstroemia cultivars, resulting from the improvement work in the U.S. National Arboretum, generally belong to the ornamental shrubs that do not need special care, apart from the basic ones.

Fertilization

Applying fertilizer in the first fortnight of March, April and May will be beneficial for the plant.

The recommended type of fertilizer is 10-10-10, ie the one that contains equal Nitrogen and the other two main elements – Phosphorus and Potassium.

Indicatively, it is mentioned that the total amount of fertilizer for all three applications for a fully developed ‘Arapaho’ Crape Myrtle shrub is 100 to 150 g.

Irrigation

With regard to irrigation, young plants should be watered when the surface soil at a depth of 1 to 2 cm (0.4-0.8 in) has dried out. But since they established well, watering can be minimal, since the plant’s tolerant to drought is great.

Plant Protection

From diseases, Cercospora Leaf Spot can sometimes be a major problem, while from insects refer Aphids, to which are moderately resistant. By using the appropriate formulations, both are treated effectively.

Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘Acoma’

'Acoma' Crape Myrtle - Use in Garden and Landscape

The ‘Arapaho’ Crape Myrtle is utilized in a variety of ways:

  • Can be planted on median strip of highways, more than 2 meters wide
  • With moderate tolerance to aerosol salt, it can be planted in seaside gardens, in sheltered places or covered by higher growing shrubs
  • While withstands the harsh atmosphere of cities, it is suitable for planting in urban gardens, parks and squares
  • In gardens along with other ornamental shrubs, such as Cherry Laurels (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken’), Hebes (Hebe ‘White Gem’), Lavenders (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Nana Alba’) and Guelder-Roses (Viburnum opulus ‘Snowball’)

References

The References to the article ‘Acoma’ Crape Myrtle – Lagerstroemia ‘Acoma’ , are alongside presented by the Bala-Sinem Choir ensemble, with the traditional Native American song Acoma entitled Acoma Rain Dance.

With Pomp and Circumstance

In each one of the Lagerstroemia hybrids created by the U.S. National Arboretum, was given the name of a native Americans Tribe. The Acoma’s traditional song Acoma Rain Dance, is performed by the Bala-Sinem Choir ensemble.

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