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Crapemyrtle (Crape Myrtle)Lagerstroemia indica

  • Crapemyrtle (Crape Myrtle) - Lagerstroemia indica
  • Crapemyrtle (Crape Myrtle) - Lagerstroemia indica
  • Crapemyrtle (Crape Myrtle) - Lagerstroemia indica

The crapemyrtle is often referred to as the "lilac of the South." With its striking flowers, handsome bark and attractive foliage, this species is a favorite for landscapes. It can be grown as either a shrub or small tree and is often used in groupings, containers, hedges and screens. You can even find the common crapemyrtle used as small street trees in urban settings.

If you live in the right region, this could be a show-stopping addition to your yard.

Hardiness Zones

The crapemyrtle (crape myrtle) can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 7–10. View Map

Tree Type

This is a flowering shrub, typically planted for its profusion of flowers.

Mature Size

The common crapemyrtle grows to a height of 15–25' and a spread of 6–15' at maturity.

Growth Speed Fast Growth Rate

This shrub grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun is the ideal condition for this shrub, meaning it should get at least 6 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The common crapemyrtle grows in a wide range of soils from slightly alkaline to acidic. It prefers moist, well-drained sites but has some drought tolerance.


This shrub:
  • Can be grown as a shrub or small tree.
  • Is well-suited for hot, sunny climates.
  • Produces wide, showy panicles in various shades of pink, with flowers that have wrinkled petals similar to crepe paper, from late spring into fall.
  • Has thin, gray bark that exfoliates, exposing smooth under-bark with varying colors ranging from brown to gray.
  • Can have increased flower number and branchiness if you pinch new growth during the growing season.
  • Grows in a vase shape.
  • Grows well in limited soil space.
  • Features foliage that is dark green, changing to shades of yellow, orange and red in the fall.

Wildlife Value

This shrub attracts bees and provides bird habitat.


The common crapemyrtle is a native of China and Korea. It is called the "lilac of the South." The number of cultivars is enormous. Among these, the U.S. National Arboretum introductions are important for their disease resistance, good flowering, and ornamental bark.

Thanks to his work with crapemyrtle breeding for most of his professional life, Dr. Carl Witcomb -- researcher, author, and professor at the University of Florida and Oklahoma State University for 20 years -- has patented cultivars that are hardy in Zone 6 and even on warmer sites in Zones 4 and 5.