I wanted to give the Black Diamond Crape Myrtle a try this spring. The leaf color has held and I will be planting this beauty in the garden soon. Here is Crimson Red now in flower.
Dean, I did a google of Crape Myrtle in Hawaii and came up with a few hits. The Enchanting Gardens of Kula in Maui have them growing. IMO I guess with all the other great stuff you guys can grow they do not rate as a great plant.I had heard of them before, but never realized what they looked like. That's what is cool about gardening - it seems there are always new things to discover and appreciate.
I have no idea if they are planted in SoCal or Hawaii. Unless there is a reason they won't grow, or are invasive, they should be.