Pictures of crepe myrtle trees in all seasons. Lagerstromia indica in full, glorious bloom. Crinkly pink and white crape myrtle flowers up close. The beautiful, exfoliating bark of crape myrtles.
In summer, the crepe myrtle reigns supreme. The pyramid-shaped bloom clusters appear in great profusion on these trees throughout the warm months.
Crepe myrtles can bloom for as long as 120 days at a stretch and many types repeat. They bloom, take a rest, and bloom again a few weeks later.
Lagerstromia indica has been extensively hybridized. You can easily obtain crepe myrtle trees of any mature size from 30 foot trees down to 18 inch miniatures.
The colors available are white and every conceivable shade of red, pink and purple.
Dwarf crepe myrtles make excellent street trees.
They are tough.
Neither smog, heat, nor car exhaust will put a dent in their flower production.
You will see them planted in the medians of roads in many southern cities just for this reason.
These are the light pink flowers of the 'Biloxi' crape myrtle.
This salt tolerant variety grows to a height of 20 feet and is hardy in zones 6-9.
The flower show lasts from July through September, but the color show continues through autumn as the leaves turn red, yellow, and orange.
These are the salmon pink blooms of Lagerstromia indica 'Tuscarora'.
If allowed to do so, 'Tuscarora' will grow to 15 feet tall and wide. Most of the trees around here are topped each year to keep them smaller.
'Tuscarora' crepe myrtle kept to 7 feet by annual topping
a.k.a. crepe murder.
This is the tree I planted to hide the utility pole at the corner of our property.
This shade of orchid is uncommon in crepes. It may be the heirloom variety known as 'Velma's Royal Delight'.
A very commonly planted cultivar is the one depicted just below.
Although you see it planted with great abandon in southern gardens, Lagerstromia indica is not strictly a southern tree.
This photo of the old heirloom crape myrtle 'Miami', was snapped in coastal Cape May, New Jersey.
Most varieties are hardy as far north as USDA zone 6 or 7.
Some Lagerstromia indica cultivars exhibit a beautiful peeling bark on their trunks. This is most noticeable in late fall and winter when the trees are bare or nearly so.
Once the weather turns crisp, crape myrtle leaves will begin to color up.
Lagerstromia indica is one of a small group of trees that provide fall color in the south.
The leaves turn various shades of red, orange and yellow.
When and how dramatically they color depends on the weather.
In a warm autumn, the change may be very subtle. If it turns cold very quickly, the leaves may drop before changing color.
What color/colors the foliage turns depends on the cultivar.
Another exfoliating crape myrtle trunk
These crepe myrtle trees are growing on the Isle of Hope off the coast of Georgia. There are several different crepe myrtles planted in this front yard.
This landscape provides a perfect example of how each type of crepe myrtle keeps to its own schedule.
The bright pink cultivar in the center is still blooming. The tree in the background is out of bloom but retains all of its foliage which is still green.
The two crepes in the foreground have colored, dropped most of their leaves and assumed their winter appearance.
There is a type of crape myrtle pruning which, unfortunately, is widely practiced here in Florida.
We call it crepe murder.
It involves the removal of the entire top of the tree each fall.
This is why you see these brown sticks sticking up all over yards, flower beds and parking lots when you visit Florida in the winter.