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Botanical Garden

Lagerstroemia indica - Crape myrtle

Lagerstroemia indica
Lagerstroemia indica
Lagerstroemia indica

Family Lythraceae


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 timber.


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.

Care Instructions:

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