Crape Myrtle vs Crepe Myrtle: Which Spelling is Correct?

Date July 20, 2022

Author TreeNewal Staff

It’s a debate that has been raging for years: is it crape myrtle or crepe myrtle? Both spellings are correct, but which one should you use? In this blog post, we will explore the history of both spellings and help you decide which one is best to use when talking about your garden!

Where Does the Tree Name Come From?

The word “crape” is derived from the Old French word for “crimson,” which likely refers to the color of the flowers on the crape myrtle. The spelling “crepe” comes from the Greek word for “mulberry,” which is the tree that the crape myrtle is related to. So, both spellings have a valid etymological basis.

Where Is Each Spelling Used Most Frequently?

So, which spelling should you use? In general, the spelling “crape myrtle” is more common in North America, while “crepe myrtle” is more common in Europe. In the Southern US, however, we love to do things our own way from the rest of the United States. “Crepe Myrtle” has a long heritage of usage in the South and is still used more often than “Crape Myrtle,” though both spellings are considered correct.

If you are ever unsure of which spelling to use, just remember that both are correct, and you can’t go wrong! Do you have a preference for one spelling over the other?

The Surprise Third Spelling: Crepemyrtle

Did you know there was a third spelling for this tree? “Crepemyrtle” is a combination of the two most common spellings and is gaining popularity as a way to refer to the tree without having to choose one spelling over the other. If you are ever unsure of which spelling to use, just remember that all three are recognizable no matter where you are!

At TreeNewal, We Accept All Spellings!

At TreeNewal, we love all trees, no matter how you spell their names! Whether you call it a crape myrtle, a crepe myrtle, or a crepemyrtle, we will gladly help you take care of your tree. Contact us today for all of your tree needs!

If you need advice or assistance with your beautiful Crepe Myrtles, Crape Myrtles, or Creyemyrtles, get in touch with the ISA Certified Arborists at TreeNewal and enjoy tailored tree care advice.


To learn more about Crape Myrtle vs Crepe Myrtle: Which Spelling is Correct?, call our Argyle and Southlake-based teams

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