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Lagerstroemia indica
Lagerstroemia indica

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Moderate

Lagerstroemia

Crape Myrtle
Lythraceae
Deciduous, Trees

The crape myrtles are among the most satisfactory of plants for hot-summer regions; showy summer flowers, good-looking bark, and (in many cases) brilliant fall color make them attractive all year round. Long, cool autumns yield the best leaf display; the first hard frost ends the show.

Lagerstroemia fauriei

From Japan. To 20–30 ft. tall and as wide, with upright habit and outward-arching branches. Leaves are light green, 4 in. long, 2 in. wide, turning yellow in fall. Smooth gray bark flakes away to reveal shiny cinnamon bark beneath. White flowers are carried in 4-in. clusters. Highly mildew resistant; the parent of many resistant hybrids.

Lagerstroemia hybrid

Introductions of the U.S. National Arboretum, these hybrids between Lagerstroemia indica and Lagerstroemia fauriei have been selected for hardiness and mildew resistance. These 8- to 25-ft. plants are mostly as wide as high, but some are much narrower. White, pink, lavender, or red flowers appear in spring. Fall color runs mostly in the red-purple-orange range, though yellow is possible. Grow as shrubs or train into small trees.

Lagerstroemia indica
Lagerstroemia indica

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Lagerstroemia indica

Native to China. To 25 ft. tall and wide. Dark green leaves are 1 to 2 1/2 in. long and somewhat narrower, often tinged red on opening and frequently turning brilliant orange or red in the fall. Crinkly petaled, crepe-like, 1 to 1 1/2-in. flowers in dense clusters range from white through pink to red and purple. Trained as a tree, develops an attractive trunk and branch structure. Smooth gray or light brown bark peels off to reveal smooth, pinkish inner bark. Winter trunk and branches look polished.

'Catawba'

Roundish, densegrowth to 6–10 ft. tall andequally wide (can be trainedas a 15-ft. tree). Dark purpleflowers, orange-red fall color.

'Dynamite'

To 20 ft. tall, 15 ft. wide. Ruffled red flowers, and orange-red fall foliage.

Lagerstroemia 'Muskogee', photo courtesy of Chris L. Jones/Garden Picture Library/Photolibrary
Lagerstroemia 'Muskogee', photo courtesy of Chris L. Jones/Garden Picture Library/Photolibrary

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'Muskogee'

To 25 ft. tall, 12 ft. wide. Lavender flowers, red fall color.

'Natchez'

Reaches 25 ft. tall, 12 ft. wide. White flowers, orange-red autumn color.

'Pecos'

To 8 ft. tall, 6 ft. wide. Pink flowers, maroon fall color.

'Petite Series

To 5 ft. talland 4 ft. wide, with names thatdescribe their flower color:‘Petite Embers’, ‘Petite Orchid’,‘Petite Pinkie’, ‘Petite Plum’,‘Petite Red Imp’, ‘Petite Snow’.All have yellow fall foliage.

'Seminole'

To 6–12 ft. tall and as wide. Bright pink flowers, red fall color.

'White Chocolate'

To 8–10 ft. tall and wide. Foliage emerges burgundy in spring, then matures to chocolate-tinged green. Pure white flowers. Bright orange-yellow fall color.

'Zuni'

To 9 ft. tall, 8 ft. wide.Lavender flowers, orange-red fall color.

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