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Lagerstroemia indica

Common Name(s):
Crape myrtle, Crapemyrtle, Crepe myrtle
Dallas Red (20 ft.) is very cold hardy, Natchez (white, 25 ft.), Muskogee (lavendar), Cherokee (red, 10-12 ft.), Tuscarora (coral pink, 16 ft.), Powhatan (purple, 14-20 ft.)

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. This tree is resistant to damage by deer.

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. They range from having smooth to exfoliating bark. To promote flower bloom it is best to trim off seed pods.

A lot of work has been done with crepe myrtles to produce several different colors of flowers 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 breading 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.  


8-30 ft.
Panicle of white, pink, red, purple flowers July to fall on new growth
Sun; moist, well drained soil
Multistemmed; rounded crown; dense branching
6-15 ft.
Growth Rate:
Moderate to rapid
1 to 2.8 in. opposite to whorled, simple leaf; yellow, orange, red fall color; white flowered trees produce yellow fall color
deciduous, deer resistant

NCCES plant id: 2032

Lagerstroemia indica Lagerstroemia indica growth habit
Photo by Elvert Barnes, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Lagerstroemia indica Lagerstroemia indica bark detail
Photo by Martin LaBar, CC BY-NC-2.0
Lagerstroemia indica Lagerstroemia indica fruit and fall color detail
Photo by Martin LaBar, CC BY-NC-2.0
Lagerstroemia indica Lagerstroemia indica flower detail
Photo by Tom Bridge