The Japanese Crape myrtle, Lagerstromemia faurei, a cold-hardy species with beautiful trunk colour and resistance to powdery mildew. Most crape myrtles are native to Asia.
The deciduous crape myrtle is among the longest blooming trees in existence with flowering periods lasting from 60-120 days.
Flowers are come in white and many shades of pink, red, lavender and purple. When mature they dry and split releasing disk shaped seeds.
Many types have interesting bark that exfoliates in thin flakes exposing lovely cinnamon or gray inner bark. Crapes tend to produce many suckers that should be removed as they appear if you want to maintain them as trees with distinct trunks. Crape myrtle likes moist soil, where it will grow exceedingly fast, but it tolerates dry conditions once established. The common practice of cutting back branches to just the trunk spoils the architectural beauty of the tree and pruning is recommended only to remove overly dense and crossing branches. Cutting off old flower heads will encourage a second and third round of flowering. The tree is a magnet for aphids.
Posted on: July 31.