Crape myrtle is a flowering tree with multiple large, showy flower panicles in electric colors that sizzle across the branches-pink, purple, red-violet, and white. Crape myrtle is a broad-crowned deciduous tree that is variable in size, averaging about 20 to 25 feet, but potentially taller. Dwarf forms are also available.
Often multistemmed, it has smooth, sculptured gray bark that gently exfoliates, showing multishaded underbark. Dappled shade allows for the growth of complementary ground covers beneath its leaf canopy. The petals are crinkled, like crepe paper, and appear recurrently July through September.
How to grow: Transplant container-grown or balled-and-burlapped plants into slightly acidic, well-drained soil. The crape myrtle will not flower well in the shade, where it is subject to powdery mildew. It can get tip blight if planted too far north. Encourage recurrent blooms by tip pruning spent flowers.
Scientific name: Lagerstroemia indica