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Publication #ENH-52

Crapemyrtle in Florida1

Gary W. Knox2

Crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia species) has become a dominant landscape plant in North and Central Florida and throughout the South. Breeding programs over the last 30 years have produced superior forms with a wide range of plant sizes and habits; improved flowering, new flower colors, ornamental bark, ornamental foliage, and disease resistance; and increased vigor. Its remarkable success as a landscape plant is largely due to the widespread usage of hybrid L. indica × fauriei cultivars.

History and Taxonomy

Lagerstroemia species are deciduous shrubs or trees with geographic origins in China, Japan, and other parts of southeast Asia. L. indica has been cultivated as an ornamental for centuries and was introduced to the southern United States over one hundred and fifty years ago. L. speciosa, commonly called Queen's Crapemyrtle, has been popular as a flowering street tree in tropical areas, including South Florida. L. fauriei, L. subcostata and L. limii have been used in breeding programs, and cultivars of L. indica × fauriei hybrids now constitute the most widely grown crapemyrtles today. Other species of Lagerstroemia are used as timber in their native ranges in Asia.

The scientific name, Lagerstroemia, was coined in 1759 by Carl Linnaeus, who described and named the plant in honor of Magnus von Lagerstroem, an avid naturalist and director of the Swedish East Indies Company. Crapemyrtle derives its common name from its crepe-like, crinkled petals, and the resemblance of its leaves to the true myrtle, Myrtus communis. "Crapemyrtle" is a peculiarly American term. Elsewhere in the world, "lagerstroemia" is often used as the common name for crapemyrtle.

Characteristics

Crapemyrtle is valued as a landscape plant for its prolific summer flowers, heat and drought tolerance, and year-round landscape interest. Flowering begins as early as May in some cultivars and continues into the fall. Each 6- to 18-inch cluster of flowers (or panicle) develops on the tips of new growth and is composed of hundreds of 1-to 2-inch flowers. Color ranges include shades of purple, lavender, white, pink and red, including “true” red, a relatively recent development. Some cultivars have bicolor flowers (two colors on each petal), some cultivars have flower colors that fade with age or certain environmental conditions, and other cultivars have panicles composed of a mix of flower colors.

Many Lagerstroemia fauriei and hybrid cultivars feature beautiful, colorful bark. Strips of bark peel off in early summer to reveal mottled new bark ranging in color from pale cream to dark cinnamon to rich brown to bright orange. The bark color gradually fades over winter until it peels again the next summer.

Leaves on many of the Lagerstroemia indica cultivars are rounded or spoon-shaped and up to 3 inches long. Most hybrid cultivars have lance-shaped leaves up to 5 inches long and 3 inches wide while other species have even larger leaves. Leaves are often tinged red in the spring and turn dark green by summer. Several cultivars are known for new growth that is bronze, red or burgundy and some cultivars are claimed to have burgundy-colored foliage all summer. In North Florida and northwards, foliage may turn brilliant yellow, orange or red in autumn.

When the leaves fall in winter, crapemyrtle becomes a living sculpture. The trunk and branches of tree-form plants have an attractively gnarled, sinuous character with smooth bark.

Landscape Use

Crapemyrtle is one of our most versatile landscape plants for sunny locations. They are available for use as medium trees, small trees, shrubs, groundcovers, container plants, large perennial bedding plants and hanging baskets. However, the most commonly available cultivars are best used as small trees in Florida.

For best results and minimum maintenance, choose a cultivar whose growth characteristics and ultimate size fit your intended landscape use. Misplacement of a shrub- or tree-like crapemyrtle will require you to prune it constantly to keep it from outgrowing its place. Single- or multi-stemmed tree-form crapemyrtles are ideal as flowering specimen trees or as small, flowering shade trees near patios, walkways, and entrances. Shrub forms make an excellent accent in a shrub border when planted in groups. Dwarf plants are effective as large groundcovers, perennial bedding plants, or container plants providing vivid, summer-flowering interest. Some dwarf crapemyrtles are used in hanging baskets.

Background plantings of evergreens emphasize the floral display of crapemyrtles. Dark-colored mulches or dark green groundcovers highlight the ornamental characteristics of crapemyrtle trunks and bark.

General Culture

Crapemyrtle is adapted to climatic conditions throughout Florida. Well-established plants are extremely drought tolerant and have low fertility requirements, although they respond to fertilizer and water with lush growth. Crapemyrtle has low salt tolerance, so it should not be irrigated with saline water or used near the coast unless it is well-protected from saline conditions.

Full sun is necessary for best flowering and for development of a full, symmetrical crown. Crapemyrtle is tolerant of a wide range of soil types but grows poorly in wet soils. It is best adapted to loamy soils that are slightly acid (pH 5.0 to 6.5). Species and cultivars susceptible to powdery mildew should be placed in locations that allow air movement to help avoid potential problems with this unsightly disease.

Crapemyrtle transplants easily. Best results occur if container-grown crapemyrtles are planted during early summer when in active growth. Bare root or balled-and-burlapped crapemyrtles should be moved and planted while dormant. Plants should be mulched to a depth of 3 inches.

Newly planted crapemyrtle should be irrigated regularly for the first few weeks to aid in establishment. Trees with a trunk diameter greater than 1 inch benefit from regular irrigation for several months. Crapemyrtle is very drought tolerant once established but moist soil or irrigation promotes growth. Fertilization will stimulate growth of young crapemyrtles but established crapemyrtles usually do not need fertilizer because root systems extend into lawns where they can absorb nutrients from applications of lawn fertilizers.

Young crapemyrtles characteristically develop multiple stems. If a crapemyrtle is to be grown as a small tree, the smallest stems should be removed, leaving one main stem for a single-trunk specimen or 3 to 5 main stems for a multi-trunked tree.

Crapemyrtle generally requires little pruning. "Suckers" or water sprouts may develop along the lower portions of main stems or from roots. These should be removed when using crapemyrtles as trees. Small twiggy growth on disease-susceptible shrub and tree forms should be thinned out from underneath and within the canopy. This keeps the trunk clean to allow air circulation and help prevent powdery mildew disease. Dwarf crapemyrtles periodically grow tall shoots that must be removed to maintain the planting as a groundcover. Shoots of some dwarf cultivars occasionally die to the ground over winter, and dead wood should be removed in the spring.

If pruning is necessary to improve plant shape or form, prune crapemyrtle anytime after the leaves have fallen. However if plants are pruned too early in the fall, new growth may emerge and be killed by the first freeze. Plants are easy to prune while dormant since the branch structure is readily visible without foliage. Pruning while plants are dormant also will not interfere with flower bud formation since crapemyrtle flowers form on new growth. Avoid annual or frequent hard pruning. Severe pruning can induce excess vegetative growth, basal sprouting, and fewer, but larger, flower panicles. It also spoils the beautiful winter branch structure on crapemyrtle trees.

Tip pruning to remove old flower clusters will promote recurrent blooming but is not practical for large plants or low maintenance landscapes. Tip pruning is largely unnecessary on many newer cultivars that naturally repeat-bloom, but tip pruning may enhance recurrent bloom of older L. indica cultivars.

Pests

Crapemyrtle can be one of the most pest-free landscape plants with proper cultivar selection and with proper siting. Primary pests in Florida are powdery mildew and the crapemyrtle aphid with its associated sooty mold.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is caused by the fungus Erysiphe lagerstroemiae. It first appears on new shoots as a whitish powder that later spreads to the surface of leaves, stems, and flowers (a black powder on leaves is caused by sooty mold; see the section on "crapemyrtle aphid"). Powdery mildew causes leaves, stems and flowers to become distorted and stunted. In severe cases, leaves may drop prematurely and flower buds may fail to open properly. Shady, humid locations and cool nights encourage powdery mildew as does frequent wetting of the foliage by irrigation or rainfall. Powdery mildew is more prevalent in spring and fall.

The best way to avoid powdery mildew is to plant one of the cultivars bred and selected for resistance to powdery mildew (See Table 1). Additionally, crapemyrtle should be planted in sunny locations allowing free air movement so that wet foliage dries quickly.

Crapemyrtle aphid

Crapemyrtle aphid, Tinocallis kahawaluokalani, was apparently introduced into the United States with crapemyrtle, its host plant. Crapemyrtle aphids are pale yellow in color with winged adults having black wings and black protuberances. They primarily are found on undersides of leaves and are particularly attracted to new growth. Crapemyrtle aphid is not found on any other commonly grown plant. No aphid species other than crapemyrtle aphid infest crapemyrtle.

These insects damage crapemyrtle by inserting mouthparts into soft tissue and extracting plant sap. Crapemyrtle aphids can reproduce and develop large numbers rapidly. Heavy infestations distort leaves and stunt new growth.

In North Florida, crapemyrtle aphid populations generally peak between late June and early August. Crapemyrtles should be inspected regularly during this period to monitor populations of aphids. Aphid populations can probably be managed if control measures begin by the first week of July. Elsewhere in Florida, one or more population peaks may occur at any time between May and September. Although many predatory insects feed on crapemyrtle aphids, they usually cannot control the aphids. Sprays of insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils are the most environmentally safe pesticides for controlling crapemyrtle aphids.

During feeding, aphids secrete droplets of a sugary solution called "honeydew." Drops of honeydew fall from the aphids onto leaves and stems below. This sugary solution promotes the growth of sooty mold fungi, Capnodium species. Sooty mold appears as a black staining or powdery coating on leaves and stems (a whitish powder on leaves is symptomatic of powdery mildew; see "powdery mildew"). The blackened leaves and stems are often the most obvious sign of aphid infestation.

Although unsightly, sooty mold itself does not directly harm crapemyrtle. However, the black fungus shades the leaves and interferes with photosynthesis, potentially reducing the long-term vigor of the plant. Control of crapemyrtle aphid will halt further development of sooty mold. Existing sooty mold on leaves will wear off the leaves through the actions of sun, rain, and wind. Sprays of insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils for control of crapemyrtle aphid also help to loosen and remove sooty mold.

Secondary Pests

Secondary pests of crapemyrtle include metallic flea beetle (Altica species), Florida wax scale (Ceroplastes floridensis), Cercospora leaf spot (Cercospora lythracearum) and mushroom root rot (Armillaria tabescens).

Propagation

Crapemyrtle can be propagated vegetatively by softwood, semi-hardwood, hardwood, or root cuttings. Softwood and semi-hardwood cuttings root easily when taken in spring or summer. Hardwood cuttings from dormant plants also root easily, although use of rooting hormone improves rooting percentages. Root cuttings may be dug in early spring and planted in the greenhouse. Root cuttings root inconsistently.

Seed capsules ripening in the fall may be collected, dried, and stored in sealed containers. No seed pre-treatment is necessary and seeds will germinate within 3 weeks after sowing. Best growth results when seeds are sown during the lengthening days of spring. Flower, bark and growth characteristics of crapemyrtle seedlings vary tremendously.

Cultivars

Many crapemyrtle cultivars have been developed by private individuals, nurseries and public institutions. In 1962, the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington D.C. began a crapemyrtle breeding project with Lagerstroemia indica. Major advances occurred when L. subcostata and L. fauriei were introduced into the breeding program in 1966. The resulting hybrids were highly ornamental and resistant to powdery mildew. As a result of the late Dr. Donald Egolf's efforts, the U.S. National Arboretum has released over 24 selected for cold hardiness, for resistance to powdery mildew, and for varying heights, habits, flower colors, fall foliage colors, and bark characteristics. All U.S. National Arboretum cultivars have Native American names.

The U.S. National Arboretum is continuing Dr. Egolf's work, and many other individuals also have joined the ranks of crapemyrtle breeders. Dr. Carl Whitcomb, Dr. Michael Dirr and Dr. Cecil Pounders currently operate prominent crapemyrtle breeding programs. Evaluations of these and other cultivars are under way at the University of Florida/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy to determine the best cultivars for Florida conditions. Cultivar descriptions and observations from these crapemyrtle cultivar evaluations are listed in Table 1.

References

Byers, David. 1999. Personal communication. Byers Nursery Company, Inc., Huntsville, AL.

Byers, David. 1997. Crapemyrtle: A Grower's Thoughts. Owl Bay Publishers Inc., Auburn, AL.

Davy, John. 1999. Personal communication. Panhandle Growers, Inc., Milton, FL.

Dirr, Michael A. and Charles W. Heuser, Jr. 1987. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Varsity Press, Inc., Athens, Georgia. 239 pp. Pp. 144-145.

Egolf, Donald R. and Anne O. Andrick. 1978. The Lagerstroemia Handbook/Checklist. American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta, Inc. 72 pp.

Knox, Gary W. and Jeffrey G. Norcini. 1991. "Lagerstroemia cultivars under evaluation at the NFREC-Monticello." Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 104: 346-347.

Mizell, Russell F., III and Gary Knox. 1993. "Susceptibility of crapemyrtle, Lagerstroemia indica L., to the crapemyrtle aphid, Tinocallis kahawaluokalani (Kirkaldy) in North Florida." Journal of Entomological Science 28(1): 1-7.

Pooler, Margaret and Ruth Dix. 1999. Personal communication. U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, D.C.

Westcott, Cynthia. 1971. Plant Disease Handbook, third edition. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York. 843 pp. Pp. 293-298 and 405-406.

Tables

Table 1. 

Characteristics of Selected Lagerstroemia Cultivars (plants are Lagerstroemia indica unless otherwise indicated).

Cultivar

Flower Color

Bark Color1

Habit1

Powdery Mildew Resistance1

Comments1

DWARF (height less than 4 feet after 5 years)

Bourbon Street

Rose pink

Nondescript tan

Spreading

Fair

Patented

Chica® Pink

Medium pink

Nondescript tan

Spreading

Poor

 

Chica® Red

Fuschia red

Nondescript tan

Rounded

Poor

Poor vigor

Chickasaw

Pink lavender

Nondescript tan

Compact-

mounded

Unknown

Plant grows into a mounded "cushion" shape; hybrid parentage should make it disease resistant; later blooming than other dwarfs

Chisam Fire

Red

Nondescript tan

Upright

Unknown

 

Creole

Watermelon red

Nondescript tan

Spreading

Unknown

 

Delta Blush

Light pink

Nondescript tan

Spreading

Poor

Early flowering; patented

Houston

Watermelon red

Nondescript tan

Mounded

Fair

Leaves are very small, making the plant fine-textured; patented; sibling of Orlando and Sacramento

Lafayette

Blush lavender

Nondescript tan

Spreading

Poor

Patented

Mardi Gras

Purple

Nondescript tan

Spreading

Unknown

 

New Orleans

Deep purple

Nondescript tan

Spreading

Fair

Rich purple flowers and glossy foliage; patented

Orlando

Lavender purple

Nondescript tan

Mounded

Fair

Leaves are small, making the plant fine-textured; patented; larger growing than siblings Houston and Sacramento

Ozark Spring

Light lavender

Nondescript tan

Upright

Poor

 

Petite Embers™

Red

Nondescript tan

Upright

Fair

 

Petite Orchid™

Dark lavender

Nondescript tan

Upright

Fair

 

Petite Pinkie™

Medium pink

Nondescript tan

Rounded

Fair

 

Petite Plum®

Purple

Nondescript tan

Rounded

Fair

Good purple flower color

Petite Red Imp™

True red

Nondescript tan

Rounded

Fair

Good red flower color

Pink Blush

Light pink

Nondescript tan

Mounded

Fair

Leaves are very small, making the plant fine-textured; patented

Pixie White

White

Nondescript tan

Rounded

Poor

Patented

Pocomoke

Deep rose pink

Nondescript tan

Compact-

mounded

Unknown

Plant grows into a mounded "cushion" shape; hybrid parentage should make it disease resistant

Purple Velvet

Dark purple

Nondescript tan

Rounded

Unknown

 

Sacramento

Rose pink

Nondescript tan

Mounded

Fair

Leaves are very small, making the plant fine-textured with almost a weeping habit of growth; patented; sibling of Houston and Orlando

Snowbaby

White

Nondescript tan

Upright-

rounded

Poor

Occasionally a branch will revert and produce lavender flowers

Tightwad Red®

True red

Nondescript tan

Rounded

Unknown

Good red flower color; patented

Velma's Royal Delight

Magenta purple

Nondescript tan

Rounded

Poor

Great flower color

Victor

Red

Nondescript tan

Upright

Fair

Great red flower color

World's Fair

Red

Nondescript tan

Spreading

Unknown

 

SEMI-DWARF (height less than 12 feet after 10 years)

Acoma

White

Creamy beige

Spreading,pendulous

Excellent

Outstanding hybrid! Distinctive horizontal branching; fine-textured, grey-green foliage; attractive bark; graceful appearance as plant matures

Baton Rouge

Deep rose red

Nondescript tan

Rounded

Very Poor

Originally called a "dwarf" but outgrew this category in Florida; patented

Bayou Marie

Pink

Nondescript tan

Rounded

Poor

Originally called a "dwarf" but outgrew this category in Florida; patented

Blizzard

White

Nondecsript tan

Rounded

Fair

 

Caddo

"Bubble-gum" pink

Medium orange brown

Spreading

Good

Beautiful, unusual flower color on this hybrid; supposedly more difficult to root

Centennial

Purple

Nondescript tan

Rounded

Unknown

 

Cheyenne

Bright red

Too soon to tell

Too soon to tell

Unknown, should be good

New hybrid cultivar from the U.S. National Arboretum; this should be a good, disease-resistant, red-flowering crapemyrtle in this size category

Conestoga

Light lavender

Nondescript tan

Spreading

Poor

From U.S. National Arboretum, but not a hybrid

Cordon Bleu

Lavender

Nondescript tan

Upright-

rounded

Very Poor

Originally called a "dwarf" but outgrew this category in Florida; patented

Hope

Blush-white

Nondescript tan

Open, elliptical

Excellent

Appears "stiff"

Low Flame

Pinkish red

Nondescript tan

Upright rounded

Fair

 

Majestic Orchid

Purple

Too soon to tell

Too soon to tell

Unknown

Hybrid of L. indica with L. speciosa; flowers and leaves are large; not stem hardy in North Florida

Pecos

Medium pink

Rich, dark brown

Vase-

shaped

Excellent

Early flowering hybrid

Petite Snow™

White

Nondescript tan

Open, rounded

Fair

Originally called a "dwarf" but outgrew this category in Florida

Pink Ruffles

Medium pink

Beige

Rounded

Fair

 

Powhatan

Medium purple

Light brown

Upright but broad

Fair

From U.S. National Arboretum but not a hybrid

Prairie Lace

Medium pink edged with white

Nondescript tan

Compact upright

Fair

Lacy, bicolor flowers are beautiful close-up but fade to a blurry pink at a distance; patented

Royalty

Royal purple

Nondescript tan

Upright-

rounded

Very Poor

Good purple flower color, but plant is very susceptible to powdery mildew; originally called a "dwarf" but outgrew this category in Florida

Tonto

Fuschia red

Light brown

Rounded

Good

From the U.S. National Arboretum; prior to the releases of Arapaho and Cheyenne, this was the best disease-resistant hybrid "red;" more difficult to root

White Chocolate

White

Nondescript tan

Rounded

Unknown

New growth is burgundy darkening to brown-green; small white flowers contrast nicely with foliage

Zuni

Medium lavender

Whitish beige

Rounded

Fair

Hybrid plant; glossy foliage; appears "stiff"

INTERMEDIATE (height less than 20 feet after 10 years)

Apalachee

Light lavender

Cinnamon orange

Upright

Good

Outstanding hybrid! Dark green leaves; dense canopy; excellent bark color; flowers are faintly fragrant; panicles of seed capsules are attractive in winter

Burgundy Cotton™

White

Too soon to tell

Too soon to tell

Unknown

New growth is wine colored; turning red-green and finally green when flowering; broad habit; patented

Candycane

Medium pink edged with white

Nondescript tan

Upright

Fair

Lacy, bicolor flowers are beautiful close-up, but fade to a blurry pink at a distance

Catawba

Violet purple

Nondescript tan

Broad

Fair

Best purple flower color; from U.S. National Arboretum but not a hybrid

Centennial Spirit

Dark red

Beige

Stiffly upright

Good

Good red flower color; "stiff" plant; patented

Christiana

Deep red

Nondescript tan

Upright- rounded

Good

Great red flowers!

Comanche

Coral pink

Sandalwood

Upright-

rounded

Excellent

Unusual flower color on this hybrid; new leaves are tinged red-bronze.

Country Red

Dark red

Beige

Upright-rounded

Fair

 

Firebird

Dark hot pink

Nondescript tan

Spreading

Fair

 

Hopi

Medium pink

Warm beige

Broad-

rounded

Good

Excellent hybrid cultivar; originally called "semi-dwarf" but outgrew this category in Florida

Lipan

Reddish lavender

Whitish

Upright

Excellent

Unusual flower color on this hybrid

Near East

Soft pink

Tan

Open, spreading

Excellent

Very old cultivar; beautiful flower color; very loose, irregular habit of growth makes it hard to prune and grow

Osage

Medium pink

Dark orange

Rounded to pendulous (when in bloom)

Excellent

Excellent bark; large, compound flower panicles; glossy foliage; hybrid

Osage Blush

Light pink

Dark orange

Rounded to pendulous (when in bloom)

Excellent

Light, pink-flowered sport of the hybrid 'Osage' discovered by John Davy (Pensacola area, Florida); otherwise the same

Peppermint Lace

Pink edged with white

Nondescript tan

Upright-rounded

Unknown

Patented

Pink Lace

Medium pink

Beige

Rounded

Fair

 

Pink Velour®

Hot pink

Nondescript tan

Upright

Unknown

New foliage is deep burgundy-red, adding a new dimension in ornamental value; patented; formerly called "Royal Velvet"

Raspberry Sundae®

Dark pink edged with white

Nondescript tan

Strongly upright

Poor

Bicolor flowers fade to pink in Florida's conditions; new growth is burgundy; patented

Regal Red

Red

Nondescript tan

Upright

Poor

 

Sarah's Favorite

White

Too soon to tell

Too soon to tell

Unknown, should be good

Hybrid cultivar known for cold hardiness

Seminole

Medium pink

Nondescript tan

Rounded

Fair

Long flowering period; from U.S. National Arboretum but not a hybrid

Siren Red™

Dark red

Too soon to tell

Too soon to tell

Unknown

Good red flower color; patented

Sioux

Clear medium pink

Medium grey brown

Narrowly upright

Excellent

Beautiful flowers; good red fall color; narrow habit makes it a great plant for tight spaces; hybrid

Splash of Pink

Mix of white, pink and bicolor flowers

Nondescript tan

Rounded

Fair

Unique flowers are beautiful close-up, but fade to a blurry pink at a distance

Wm. Toovey

Pink red

Too soon to tell

Too soon to tell

Unknown

Introduced in 1927

Yuma

Light lavender

Pinkish-cream

Open, rounded

Excellent

Resembles northern Lilac when in bloom; great bark; loose, irregular growth habit makes it hard to prune and grow; hybrid

TREE (height greater than 20 feet after 10 years)

Arapaho

Dark red

Too soon to tell

Too soon to tell

Unknown, should be good

New hybrid cultivar from the U.S. National Arboretum; this should be the best disease-resistant red-flowering crapemyrtle

Basham's Party Pink

Lavender pink

Creamy beige

Rounded, vase- shaped

Good

Very similar to 'Muskogee'; hybrid, but not from the U.S. National Arboretum

Biloxi

Light pink

Rich, dark brown

Open, vase-

shaped

Good

Open canopy casts light shade and may allow grass to grow beneath; great bark; hybrid

Byers Wonderful White

White

Light beige

Upright

Fair

Huge, loose panicles of flowers as large as basketballs

Carolina Beauty

Deep red

Nondescript tan

Upright

Very poor

Good red flower color, but plant is extremely susceptible to pests

Choctaw

Light pink

Warm, light brown

Rounded

Good

Beautiful, large panicles of bright, clear pink flowers on this hybrid

Dallas Red

Dark red

Nondescript tan

Upright, rounded with age

Fair

 

Dynamite®

True red

Light beige

Upright-rounded

Unknown

Best red flower color yet! Some flowers fade under Florida conditions; patented

Fantasy

White

Red-orange

Vase-shaped

Excellent

Outstanding bark; early flowering; grows to medium-size tree; difficult to root; a cultivar of Lagerstroemia fauriei

Glendora White

White

Too soon to tell

Too soon to tell

Unknown

Pure white flowers

Kiowa

White

Cinnamon brown

Vase-shaped

Excellent

Outstanding bark; early flowering; grows to medium-size tree; difficult to root; a cultivar of Lagerstroemia fauriei

Miami

Dark pink

Chestnut brown

Rounded, vase-

shaped

Excellent

Good orange fall color; hybrid

Muskogee

Lavender-pink

Sandalwood

Rounded

Good

Fast-growing; great orange fall color; widely planted hybrid and perhaps overplanted

Natchez

White

Rich, cinnamon brown

Rounded

Excellent

Starts flowering early and blooms well all summer; great bark; good red fall color; outstanding hybrid but overplanted

Potomac

Medium pink

Beige

Upright

Fair

Leafs out early and is susceptible to late frosts; from U.S. National Arboretum but not a hybrid

Red Rocket®

Cherry red

Nondescript tan

Upright-rounded

Unknown

Good red flower color; patented

Townhouse

White

Mahogany red

Vase-shaped

Excellent

Outstanding bark; grows to medium-size tree; broader habit than 'Fantasy'; difficult to root; a cultivar of Lagerstroemia fauriei from the J.C. Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh, NC

Tuscarora

Dark coral pink

Nondescript tan

Upright

Excellent

Unusual flower color on this hybrid; plant appears "stiff"

Tuskegee

Dark pink

Creamy beige

Vase-

shaped

Excellent

Fast-growing

Twilight

Dark purple

Nondescript tan

Upright

Good

Good purple flower color; good orange fall color

Watermelon Red

Watermelon red/pink

Creamy beige

Spreading

Fair

Old cultivar

Wichita

Lavender

Rich brown

Upright-vase

Excellent

Hybrid cultivar from the U.S. National Arboretum

1 Bark color, habit, powdery mildew resistance and comments from author's personal observations.

Footnotes

1.

This document is Fact Sheet ENH-52, a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. First published: June 1992. Revised: May 2000 and December 2003. Reviewed January 2013. Please visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Gary W. Knox, professor, Extension environmental horticulturist, Department of Environmental Horticulture, North Florida Research and Education Center, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.