Ernest Jon Knouse

About Ernest Jon Knouse

A crepe myrtle is dedicated to Ernest Jon Knouse, a supervisor of the electronics development at the University of Maryland Physics Department, where he worked for 30 years. Mr. Knouse was born in Washington and grew up in Takoma Park, attending Blair High School, Capital Radio Engineering Institute, and later UMD. Mr. Knouse was a Navy veteran, charter member of the UMCL Softball Club, and an avid promoter of recycling in Montgomery County. He lived in Berwyn Heights and passed away on March 10, 1999 from a heart ailment at 60 years old.1

About the Crepe Myrtle

This tree dedicated to Ernest Jon Knouse is located on the southwest side of the John S. Toll Physics Building, near the “M” traffic circle. It is a crape myrtle (sp. Lagerstroemia), which is most commonly of the species indica. The crape myrtle is an upright, wide-spreading multi-stemmed deciduous shrub. Its native range is from the Himalayas to southern China, southeast Asia and Japan, but it now grows in the US from Virginia south to Texas and Florida. The crape myrtle grows to heights and spreads of 6-25 feet. The tree is known for its long bloom period, light pink-gray exfoliating bark, fall color and showy, naturally rose to red flowers with crimped petals that bloom in the summer. The flowers give way to long-persisting round seed capsules. Leaves are elliptical shaped and thick, leathery leaves emerge light green with a tinge or red, are dark green when mature and turn yellow to red in autumn. As for the common name, crepe refers to the crepe paper-like inflorescences (a group or cluster of flowers) and myrtle refers to the bark and foliage features similar to the myrtle.2


Written by Joanna Barton