June 24, 2011

Grandmother's Purse, a Crape Myrtle Story

Holley Garden posted about her Crape Myrtles. She hasn't heard the Grandmother's Purse story, so I'll tell it here.
Crape Myrtle Buds.
Imagine that we are in the garden and I tell you a story

"This is Grandmother's Purse."

Squeezing the bud, "This is Grandmother's Handkerchief."

Pulling out the handkerchief a little,
"This is Grandmother's Gold."

Oh, Grandmother, Do it Again!
This is Grandmother's Purse....
This is Grandmother's Handkerchief.

This is Grandmother's Gold.

Cluster of open crape blooms with golden centers.

There is often a question of whether these are Crepe Myrtles or Crape Myrtles?
My opinion is that Crape is a thin, crinkled fabric or paper.
Crepes are French pancakes, properly rhyming with 'step' and quite delicious
but not resembling a flower petal at all.

A last glance at 'Lilacina' Crape Myrtles in the front garden and a White Crape in the distance.
The Lilacinas in the near view at left and in the back yard are just coming into bloom.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.


Elephant's Eye said...

And in South Africa, because of the (British?) plant collector background, they are Pride of India. Same plant. If carefully pruned, as mine weren't (inherited, I'm trying to sort it) they have beautifully twining trunks and shiny mottled bark - when the brief flowers are gone.

This was a fun post ;~)

Bernie said...

I hadn't heard of Grandmother's purse either, but I will certainly tell my grandchildren that one!

Over here in Australia we spell it as 'crepe' because 'crepe paper' is spelt with an 'e' not an 'a'. We pronounce it exactly the same though ... with a long 'a' sound.

NellJean said...

I was hoping to avoid having to talk about 'crepey skin' and other uses of crepe. I do agree that 'crepe paper' is what we used to use for decorating teen-aged dances.

Crape generally is used by nineteenth century authors like Edith Wharton, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Louisa May Alcott in writing about thin fabric of various uses. Crape myrtles are rooted in the nineteenth century as well -- pardon the pun.

HolleyGarden said...

Thanks for the mention - and for the story! Cute - I'll have to show my granddaughters! I've seen both spellings so much, I figured it didn't matter - just pick one!

Hanni said...

I love it! The sweet beans will love it too. :) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Something to add to the story of grandmothers purse...the most prized possession of grandmothers purse is the pearl at the very bottom....if you squeeze the bottom of the bud there is a whiteish greenish I guess seed and that is the pearl �� I just love little stories like that thanks for sharing

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