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Lagerstroemia indica

Common Name(s):

  • Crapemyrtle
  • Crape Myrtle
  • Crepe Myrtle
Description

The crepe myrtle is a favorite of many southern gardeners. (Crepe myrtle is the preferred common name in the south). The draw for this plant is that is blooms at a time when most trees are not blooming. If the plant is healthy, it will be covered with blooms that will last for months during the hottest part of the summer.

Crepe myrtles will grow in almost any kind of soil: sand, loam or clay. It is even possible to grow them in containers if they are watered and fertilized properly. They will grow in partial shade, however, the best flowering will occur on plants that receive more than 6 hours of direct sun. To promote flower bloom it is best to trim off seed pods.

Crepe myrtle breeding and cultivation have produced several different colors of flowers, ranging from white to purple to every shade of red. They can be purchased for small spaces with plants that reach a mature height of 3 to 5 feet, to large shade trees reaching heights of 35 feet, and almost any size in between.

Work has been done in breeding this original crepe myrtle Lagerstroemia indica with a Japanese crepe myrtle Lagerstroemia faurei, which features red, flaky bark and resistance to powdery mildew. Most new varieties that are on the market today are a result of this breeding program.  

For more information on the newer varieties, their mature height, flower color, and how to solve some of the more common problems associated with crepe myrtles such as powdery mildew or lack of flowering visit the web site on crepe myrtles put out by Clemson University: http://www.clemson.edu/crapemyrtle/ 

 

Cultivars:
  • 'Cherokee'
    red flowers, 10-12 ft. tall
  • 'Dallas Red'
    very cold hardy, 20 ft. tall
  • 'Muskogee'
    lavender flowers
  • 'Natchez'
    white flowers, 25 ft. tall
  • 'Powhatan'
    purple flowers, 14-20 ft. tall
  • 'Tuscarora'
    coral pink flowers, 16 ft. tall
Tags:
#playground#cpp#deer resistant#children's garden
Cultivars:
  • 'Cherokee'
    red flowers, 10-12 ft. tall
  • 'Dallas Red'
    very cold hardy, 20 ft. tall
  • 'Muskogee'
    lavender flowers
  • 'Natchez'
    white flowers, 25 ft. tall
  • 'Powhatan'
    purple flowers, 14-20 ft. tall
  • 'Tuscarora'
    coral pink flowers, 16 ft. tall
Tags:
#playground#cpp#deer resistant#children's garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Lagerstroemia
    Species:
    indica
    Family:
    Lythraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China, Indochina, Himalayas, Japan
    Distribution:
    Eastern US
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This tree is resistant to damage by deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 8 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Multistemmed
    Multi-trunked
    Vase
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full Sun (Direct sunlight 8+ hours a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Irregular
    Flower Size:
    > 3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Panicle of white, pink, red, purple flowers, July to fall, on new growth.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Smooth
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Whorled
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    1 to 2.8 in. opposite to whorled, simple leaf; yellow, orange, red fall color; white-flowered trees produce yellow fall color
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Surface/Attachment:
    Peeling
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    They range from having smooth to exfoliating bark. However, most new varieties have red, flaky bark.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer