The summer months are when the flowers of the Crape Myrtles exhibit their very colorful and long lasting display of beauty.
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The Beauty Of Crape Myrtles
The summer months are when the flowers of the Crape Myrtles exhibit their very colorful and long lasting display of beauty. The proper name of Lagerstroemia, belies their sophisticated appearance with their fluted stems and branches with mottled appearance stemming from shedding bark that occurs during the year. The leaves are very simple, growing opposite from each other and vary in size from two to eight inches. All species can grow to a height of up to 100 feet, but most species are kept as small to medium multi-trunked trees and shrubs.
The flowers appear during the summer and fall in clusters of crinkled arrays of flowers with a texture similar to crape. The colors can vary from a red to a white, to a deep purple. The trend of the colors is actually toward the blue end of the color spectrum, but there are no blue flowers exist.
Common Crape Myrtles
The pistils and stamen appear as orange and yellow in color, and the fruit is a green capsule at first, turning to a dark brown or black as it ripens. It will then split along six or seven lines, and produce a great number of small, seeds that are winged.
The common crape myrtles were first introduced to Charleston, South Carolina in 1790 from China and Korea by the French.
The plant in the wild grows as a many stemmed large shrub, but the cultivation of over two hundred years has given the result of many varieties. The crape myrtle today can decorate just about any landscaping need from shrubbery, trees or dense hedges forming a barrier.
Growing Conditions for Crape Myrtles
Crepe myrtles are beautiful plants that can be easily grown in climates that are not too harsh in either direction. They can be injured in the northernmost parts of its range in very cold winters, and in the Deep South the hot conditions can be hard on the plant as well. Their colorful flowers are unique in that their striking contrast and beauty overwhelms any other growth of plants that are nearby.
Their spectacular summer flowers and their brilliant coloring in the fall make them some of the most interesting plants in your garden and performers all year. These flowering trees can be grown as trees or small shrubs, and they will bloom all year long, but especially as beautiful blooms in the summer and fall.