'crepe' or 'crape' myrtle?

March 5, 2007

I noticed in a recent issue of "Southern Living" magazine that the writer chided someone for spelling crape myrtle with an "A" instead of an "E." I just browsed through numerous reference books on my shelf, which includes the American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia and books by the esteemed Michael Dirr, and they all spell it with a "A." In fact, the only place I see it spelled "crepe myrtle" is in the Southern Living books and magazines.

So, who is correct? Can it be spelled both ways?

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