Those looking for a colorful bloom that is long-lasting during the summer months should check out the Crape Myrtles tree. They are a smaller species that can get anywhere from ten to one hundred feet, but most of them are just smaller that work in most settings. Their native name is Lagerstroemia and are known for their classic fluted stems and shedding bark. While they flower in the summer, they also put on a colorful display in the fall with a bright variety of color.
Some say that the flowers on the Natchez white crepe myrtle resemble a crepe that has been crinkled. There are all sorts of color variations that range from red rocket, to purple and even pink. Though they have distinct colors, there are large variations of shades between the colors. The fruit that produces that flower is a long capsule. It is very succulent and green in color during the initial phases, but it quickly turns to a dark brown or black color and dries out. Once dried, it splits and produces what looks like teeth. Similar plants that also have this action is the calyx.
The Crepe Myrtle is an Indian native plant, but also can be found growing wild in Australia and parts of Oceania. In the states, people love to use them in both commercial and domestic landscapes. While they are considered more of a tropical and subtropical plant, they do best in zones 7-10. Though they may be small in stature for the most part, their strong wood has been used throughout this country to make furniture and to even manufacture bridges.
The Natchez white crepe myrtle prefers a soil that is dry and do not thrive in a wet soil. They also prefer their base to be acidic, so one should keep the PH levels around 5.0 and no higher than 6.5. They are a tree that is easy to maintain because of their need for dry soil. It is unnecessary to water these as often as other plants, other than the first two years should drought conditions occur. They are self-maintaining and no need to fuss much over them.
The most unique thing about the crepe myrtles tree is not the amazing colors they come in, pink, purple or red rocket, but the bark. The bark peels. Many people see this white bark lying in many places, but they don’t really know that the tree is. Actually, some people get very concerned when they see their trees shedding their bark during the year, but this is a perfectly normal process. As a deciduous tree, there will not be any leaves left on it in the winter. However, many people love the rich colors of the wood, especially after the bark also has been shed.
There are more than 50 known variations of the Lagerstroemia, and each one has unique qualities and characteristics that make it the perfect tree for most landscapes. They handle full sun well and are meant to be in a warm to hot place.