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summer stars – crepe myrtle
In the midsummer heat just as most plants are starting to falter the Crepe Myrtle bursts to life with large clusters of red, pink, white or purple flowers. But while summer is showtime, this is a great tree year round with spectacular orange tones in Autumn and as the plant ages the bark peels back to reveal a beautiful mottled trunk especially notable in Winter. Tough and reliable just remember to prune into a single trunk tree if you want a cleaner look.
Botanical name : Lagerstroemia indica
Common name : Crepe myrtle
Grows to : Between 3-8m tall depending on the variety
Uses : This tree provides interest throughout the year. Flowers in late spring into summer. Colours include white, a range of pinks, red and lilac. Leaves turn yellow, orange and red through autumn and the bark peels back with age to reveal mottled trunks especially notable in winter.
Likes : A well drained soil in full sun for best results. Very drought tolerant.
Watch for : The original varieties were prone to powdery mildew – look for the Indian Summer range for resistant varieties. There are dwarf varieties available so check the label for eventual size. Slow to moderate growth rate