Commonly known as crape myrtle or crepe myrtle. Is a genus of around 50 species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs and trees. From the Indian subcontinent. And they grow excellent here in the South. Known for their beautiful summer flowers and mottled peeling bark. All species are woody in nature, they can range in heights. Very dwarf from 1 to 3 ft. Dwarf 3-6 ft. Semi-dwarf 5-12 ft. Small tree 10-20 ft. Tree 20 ft Mature height. Flowers are borne in summer and autumn on panicles of crinkled flowers with a crape like texture. The colors range from deep purple, red to white with every shade in between.
Although no blue-flowered variety exists, with no orange or yellow only in the stamens and pistils. In their native habitat, they are used for lumber and building. Prune in late winter or very early spring before they come out of dormancy and set new leaves. Determine the shape you want, prune with your eye, opening up the middle of the tree. Remove any crossed or rubbing branches, they flower off new growth. Carefully snip the old flowers off. Remove any succors from the bottom and clean the trunk of side growth keeping a lovely flowing look to the many branches. They are tough and woody to cut use the appropriate sharp tools to get a clean cut. Any large limbs make good plant stakes for the garden. Do not stub them just because the neighbor does it. This is unnecessary and takes away from the graceful look of this beautiful plant.
Are crape myrtles poisonous?
Are they invasive?
Considering they are not a native, they are listed as a yes. They are sold only grown from seed through a nursery. They take the place of native plants and trees. And are now having trouble in the Houston area with a bark scale. Personally, the crepe myrtle is a beautiful tree that is adapted to our growing area and has become a favorite to many Texas homes. The seeds are food to some caterpillars and so far I have not found them to reproduce, only in the nursery. When this plant flowers I know that summer is really here. And the bright splashes of color throughout the neighborhood makes me happy with their colors.
The crepe myrtle, beautiful flowers, and exotic bark.
Out growing green and enjoying the flowers with Jannie