This is a delightful tree and roads lined with these trees on both sides look stunning during summer when the trees are in full bloom. The botanical name of Crepe Myrtle is Lagerstroemia indica belongs to family Lythraceae. Lagerstroemia name is a tribute to Magnus von Lagerstrom of Sweden. Crepe Myrtle is inhabitant of India, Southeast Asia, and Northern Australia. Now, these trees are grown all over the world for its ornamental value. There are around 50 species of Crepe Myrtle.
Lagerstroemia indica is a deciduous tree with a wide flat crown and grows up to 6 meters. The bark is smooth and pinkish grey and they shed annually. The timber of some species has been used to manufacture bridges, furniture and railway sleepers.
Leaves are small, opposite, simple, and dark green changing to yellow and orange in autumn. The leaves size varies from 2” to 8”.
Flowers are white, pink, mauve, or purple with crimped paper like petals, in panicles up to 9cm.
The fruit is a capsule, green and succulent at first, then ripening to dark brown or black dryness. It splits and releases numerous small winged seeds.
The other widely known Crepe Myrtles are Japanese Crape myrtle, Queen Crape myrtle, Giant Crape myrtle or Banabá originates, and so on.
Indian Postal Department has issued a postal stamp to commemorate this flower.
Parts of the plants are used to treat many ailments like fever, diabetes, and so on.
Crepe Myrtle can be grown by hard wood cutting or by seeds. Prune in winter to encourage branching and fertilize every fortnight. Lagerstroemia indica is frost tolerant, prefers full sun.