Crepe/Crape Myrtle Damage in NC?

Asked September 7, 2020, 12:48 AM EDT

I recently read that these trees aren’t native to NC. They are planted all over the place in High Point, so I was wondering if they pose a unique threat to the local ecosystem? Also, are there invasive plants that can coexist with native plants without causing problems?

Randolph County North Carolina

1 Response

Crepe myrtles are exotic (not native), but they are not considered invasive because they are not causing ecological harm. There is no evidence that they have established outside of urban areas where they are deliberately planted, nor are they necessarily displacing native species. However, I do personally find them to be over-planted and cliche, and always encourage homeowners to plant more diverse species, and when appropriate for the site, native species.

Probably the most nefarious invasive plants in our area are:
https://projects.ncsu.edu/goingnative/howto/mapping/invexse/japangra.html
https://projects.ncsu.edu/goingnative/howto/mapping/invexse/privets.html
https://projects.ncsu.edu/goingnative/howto/mapping/invexse/autumnol.html

For more info, see: https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/extension-gardener-handbook/12-native-plants

https://gardening.ces.ncsu.edu/native-plant-resources/