Lagerstroemia is a
genus of about fifty species, mostly from the Asian tropics. The crape myrtle
is the cold hardiest species. The wide variety of flower colors and forms are
selections of this species and hybrids with a few other species. Crape myrtles
are well known for their brilliant summer flowers in shades of pink, red, lavender
and purple. In addition, some varieties may have colorful fall foliage or attractive
flaking bark. Most varieties grow to about fifteen feet or taller but the full
range is about two feet to fifty feet tall. The “dwarf” varieties grow slowly
but it appears that many of them grow taller than first assumed. While the wood
of crepe myrtle is very hard, its small size limits its commercial value for
Crape myrtles are planted all around campus. A reddish-pink flowered cultivar ‘Tonto’ is a commonly used variety pictured above.
Typically a small tree from fifteen to twenty-five feet tall.
Light: full sun
Water: very drought tolerant when established
Soil: well-drained, otherwise no special requirements
This colorful tree is widely planted throughout north Florida. Plant it in a
sunny, well-drained site for best growth.
Other – this plant is often
over-pruned and badly pruned
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