Avian feeding on seed of the exotic ornamental lagerstroemia indica (Crapemyrtle)

The ornamental plant Lagerstroemia indica (Crapemyrtle) was introduced to American gardens before 1796, but little is known about its use as a food resource by avian species. Local wintering populations of Spinus tristis (American Goldfinch), Junco hyemalis (Dark-eyed Junco), and Haemorhous mexicanus (House Finch) feed heavily on Crapemyrtle seeds, and I observed 5 additional bird species occasionally extracting seeds from dehiscent capsules in Fairfax County, VA. Planted and naturalized Crapemyrtle may be an important food resource for finches and sparrows in southeastern US.