1-1           WHEREAS, The crape myrtle has been a distinctive part of the

 1-2     Texas landscape for more than 100 years, and this striking shrub

 1-3     never fails to add a touch of class and beauty to its surroundings;

 1-4     and

 1-5           WHEREAS, Many Texans appreciate the splendor of the crape

 1-6     myrtle and have taken a special interest in its proliferation in

 1-7     their communities, making it difficult to traverse our great state

 1-8     without witnessing the plant's annual summer flush of color; and

 1-9           WHEREAS, Originally imported from China, the crape myrtle,

1-10     Lagerstroemia indica, has thrived in the Lone Star State's often

1-11     brutal climate, and the establishment of these hardy hybrids has

1-12     done much to encourage tourism for many Texas cities while also

1-13     bolstering civic pride among their residents; and

1-14           WHEREAS, In 1857, the wife of Confederate General Sam Bell

1-15     Maxey introduced the crape myrtle to Paris, Texas, and in 1916,

1-16     after a fire devastated this Northeast Texas town, one of the

1-17     community's first beautification projects incorporated these

1-18     colorful shrubs; several years later, newspaper publisher A. G.

1-19     "Pat" Mayse further established the city's link to the plant when

1-20     he sold thousands of crape myrtle seedlings for 25 cents each as

1-21     Paris's residents prepared to celebrate Texas' centennial; and

1-22           WHEREAS, More recently, citizens planted crape myrtles along

1-23     the 18-mile stretch of highway between Paris and the Texas-Oklahoma

1-24     border; this prominent display provides a distinctive welcome to

 2-1     travelers entering the Lone Star State from the north and offers a

 2-2     memorable Texas farewell to those individuals who must leave the

 2-3     friendly confines of our state; and

 2-4           WHEREAS, The crape myrtle enjoys an equally prominent

 2-5     position in the annals of Waxahachie, where the Crape Myrtle

 2-6     Council has endeavored to further beautify this lovely city with

 2-7     the addition of 2,000 crape myrtles; community volunteers have

 2-8     rallied together to assist in the planting and maintenance of the

 2-9     shrubs in a region that already boasts a profusion of these unique

2-10     plants; and

2-11           WHEREAS, Throughout the town, dazzling blooms subtly accent

2-12     the rustic charm of Waxahachie's elaborate Victorian-style homes,

2-13     framing these stunning structures in a springtime explosion of red,

2-14     white, pink, and lavender and enticing visitors from across the

2-15     country to visit this historic city; and

2-16           WHEREAS, The rich soil of Brazos County is epecially suited

2-17     for growing these exquisite plants, and their foliage provides a

2-18     dramatic complement to the county's magnificent oaks for many

2-19     months each year; reflecting their concern for the natural beauty

2-20     and ecology of their community, members of Brazos Beautiful, Inc.,

2-21     have planted crape myrtles in parks and public areas to promote a

2-22     cleaner, healthier, and more attractive environment; and

2-23           WHEREAS, The organization's tireless efforts have greatly

2-24     enhanced College Station's Richard Carter Park, where visitors can

2-25     stroll along paths dotted with more than 20 varieties of crape

2-26     myrtle, delighting in their showy blossoms; gracing urban areas and

2-27     parklands throughout Brazos County, the crape myrtle has come to

 3-1     symbolize the community's sense of self-esteem and civic

 3-2     cooperation; and

 3-3           WHEREAS, The history of the crape myrtle is indelibly linked

 3-4     to Lamar County and the city of Paris, and its unique relationship

 3-5     with both Waxahachie and Brazos County is also well known among

 3-6     Texans; the citizens of these communities and the many

 3-7     organizations within them are to be commended as they continue in

 3-8     their efforts to promote the propagation of this enchanting plant

 3-9     in Texas; now, therefore, be it

3-10           RESOLVED, That the 75th Legislature of the State of Texas

3-11     hereby formally recognize the valuable addition of the crape myrtle

3-12     to our native flora and declare the crape myrtle the Official State

3-13     Shrub of Texas; and, be it further

3-14           RESOLVED, That Lamar County be declared the Crape Myrtle

3-15     County Capital and that Paris, its county seat, be designated the

3-16     Official Crape Myrtle City for their longtime association with the

3-17     celebrated shrub; and, be it further

3-18           RESOLVED, That Waxahachie be declared the Crape Myrtle

3-19     Capital of Texas and that Brazos County be recognized as an

3-20     Official Crape Myrtle County for their communities' lasting

3-21     contributions to the beautification of Texas.


         _______________________________     _______________________________

             President of the Senate              Speaker of the House

               I certify that H.C.R. No. 14 was adopted by the House on May

         7, 1997, by a non-record vote.


                                                 Chief Clerk of the House

               I certify that H.C.R. No. 14 was adopted by the Senate on May

         26, 1997, by a viva-voce vote.


                                                 Secretary of the Senate

         APPROVED:  _____________________