Crape myrtles aren’t just about flowers we actually are even more attracted to the handsome, exfoliating bark. This selection from the disease resistant Japanese species has some of the best bark in the vegetable kingdom. Swaths of muscular mahogany, cinnamon red smooth regions create a fantastic tapestry. This is a very large growing Crape Myrtle with profuse but smaller trusses of FRAGRANT white flowers in mid- late summer. Fall color is bright orange/yellow/red and is very striking in its somewhat brief display. To 35′ tall in great age it grows approximately 3′-4′ per year when young. Bark begins to develop coloration in 2-3 years. Most often multi-trunked this gives the gardener even more beauty to stare at.The most common form of this tree has a single trunk about 1′ tall with profuse multiple branching from there. Its a little odd but in time it forms great canopy that spreads to a dense umbrella shape. Completely disease resistant and because of that this tree first identified in 1956 on the Japanese island of Yakushima imparts this trait to its hybrid progeny. It also is the source for colorful bark found in many of the National Arboretum hybrids. Best with consistent summer moisture for the first few years then only occasional deep soaks. Deciduous- fall color is a saturated light orange/gold. A fantastic street tree with great dimensions and form. This selection – chosen for bark coloration can be difficult to locate. Beautiful tree.
One of the very first releases from the National Arboretum breeding program in 1967 and a fine purple flowered Crape Myrtle that has yet to be exceeded. Deep violet purple flowers occur en masse in August through October on this compact tree to just 12′ tall with a rounded crown. Full sun and rich soil with REGULAR summer irrigation to bloom. Water deeply once a week through the bloom period.Thrives and blooms in the hottest aspects. Regular water begun in April will assist in earlier and larger flower sets in summer. In autumn the foliage takes on brilliant neon orange/ red/ yellow tones that is just as spectacular as the blooms. In time the bark exfoliates to a smooth tan. Moderately mildew resistant- give it good air circulation in an open exposure. This tree makes a fine standard albeit of limited size. We grow it as a multi-trunked specimen. Long lived, easy to grow small tree. Catawba retains its popularity as there are few dark purple flowered crape myrtles whose blossoms don’t fade drastically after opening. This selection retains the intensity of purple.
Good looking upright growing very floriferous crape myrtle. The large trusses of flowers born in August – October are a fascinating mix of colors. In cooler weather they are decidedly rose colored, The hotter the weather and the more consistently hot the flower color becomes a rich red. Either way this strong growing disease resistant Crape Myrtle is a winner in our climate. To 18′ tall and 9′ wide in full sun, virtually any soil with REGULAR deep irrigation in summer- without irrigation crape myrtles in our climate will stall and not grow or bloom. Fantastic garden tree. Fall color is red/orange and the bark exfoliates to a muscular soft tan/taupe. Grows 2′-3′ a year when well irrigated. Cold hardy. Not the best picture, but the truest flower color I could capture. Officially marketed as wine colored and thats a fair approximation. Glossy deep black buds erupt into brilliant flowers. Strong vertical habit makes it ideal as a street tree. Great crape myrtle.
Extraordinarily rare and wonderful dwarf/smaller Crape Myrtle. This is one of the first crape myrtles in my garden to bloom each year. By the last week of June spectacular, fluffy, pure white flowers obscure the whole plant. Slow growing because it shoots into bloom very early. Cutting wood, therefore, is limited and so is the amount we can produce. To 5′ tall in 8 years and 3′ across, it will double that size in 10 more years. Extensive bloom period from June solidly through September. RICH soil that has been amended and a handful or two of all organic fertilizer will spur it to grow and bloom even better. REGULAR summer water and only in full, all day sun in a hot position. Wonderfully called for hell strips and small gardens. In just several years the stems exfoliate to a glossy sheen and though not large in diameter this is a showy feature in fall. Autumn color is bright yellow and brief. Mildew resistant. This L. indica variety is rare but was well known to the supreme crape myrtle breeder Donald Egolf at the National Arboretum. He used it extensively as a parent and in combination with Lagerstroemia fauriei to produce some of the most famous hybrids. Cleaner white than ‘Natchez’ and similar white purity to ‘Acoma’ but much, much smaller. Excellent crape myrtle for our climate with low heat requirements to bloom. Fantastic in bloom. Very limited quantities.
We discovered this seedling Crape Myrtle years ago in North Portland and we were amazed that it burst into bright red bloom beginning in July every year- despite all sorts of weather conditions. Upright growing dense tree to 10′ tall and 5′ wide in 10 years. Large trusses of red flowers begin in July and peak in coverage on the tree in August. This crape myrtle must have regular irrigation to thrive/bloom and it favors richer soils than other cultivars. Water deeply once a week through its bloom period. In time the straight trunks exfoliate to glossy tan. Fall color is red/ orange. Moderately fast growing to 2′-3′ per year when young. Full hot sun and good air circulation. Avoid crowding with other plants. Pretty tree.
Xera Plants Introduction.
Large growing tree type crape myrtle to 20’+ tall with a wide spreading crown. Reliable soft, luminous purple large trusses of flowers begin on average the first week of August in the city and repeat bloom until October. Fast growing shade tree that can achieve 3′-5′ a year when young in optimal conditions. Free blooming tree that displays glossy, muscular tan trunks when the bark sheds in mid-summer. These contrast greatly with the deep green foliage and sumptuous purple blooms. Long lived, cold hardy, disease resistant cultivar that has shown its merits for many decades in the southern U.S. but less often grown in our region. Fall color is bright red/ orange/ yellow. Mildew resistant- good air circulation- proper cultivation eliminates this threat. As with all purple flowered crape myrtles the flowers can fade a bit after opening. When a non-fading purple crape myrtle becomes available we will be the first to let you know. Otherwise this is a great, dependable, garden tree. Deep, infrequent, summer irrigation. Six or more hours of hot sun per day. Long lived and cold hardy cultivar.
Striking crape myrtle with jet BLACK foliage that would be cool all by itself. The real kicker is intense true red flowers that smolder with the leaves. A naturally and reliably early blooming almost fastigiate tree. To 9′ tall but just 3′ wide in 7 years. Full hot sun and rich soil with regular summer irrigation for the best results. So far it has been completely mildew free as well. Imagine the late summer combinations? Blooms first appear in early August in urban areas- later in cooler hinterlands. If it never bloomed it would be a cool thing but that red. Wow. Fall color is non-existent.
Play it again is another trade name associated with this confusingly named but gorgeous shrubby crape myrtle. We’re very impressed with its performance, the first round of rich, cranberry red flowers appears in July- the color is deep and intense. In this selection no seed is ever formed and the plant will re-bloom continuously on the same flower stem. Watch the spent scape closely new buds seem to bubble out from no where. A compact growing shrub to 4′ x 4′ in 7 years. New foliage is deep wine red and retains the deep intensity of green. The small flower trusses completely obscures the plant in bloom. For the hottest, sunniest position in rich soil with REGULAR summer irrigation. Less over the years. It really does re-bloom continuously. Fall color is vibrant red/ orange. In time the thin stems/trunks exfoliates to a glossy tan sheen. Propagation prohibited. PP#22, 559
Red is an exciting and sought after flower color for Crape myrtles in our climate. Most varieties with reliable early bloom tend toward pink, white, and lavender. Enter this Carl Whitcomb hybrid with among the truest red flowers of any Lagerstroemia cultivar. Mr. Whitcomb is an Oklahoman Crape myrtle breeder and his visceral reaction to this seedling in the field was to exclaim “Dynamite” referring to the clear red flowers. He kept the name and this has become one of the most successful red flowered cultivars in the United States. In our climate it is a reliable bloomer if sited well and consistently irrigated. Although, I have noticed very good drought tolerance with this cultivar and indeed Carl Whitcomb plants his seedlings out in a field and then lets nature take its course- no supplemental irrigation. This is in NE Oklahoma a somewhat brutal climate. This predisposed his selections to low water requirements. He also selected it for good tolerance to powdery mildew. Best in a warm spot in full sun with rich to average soil with regular irrigation. Fast growing tree to 20′ tall and 10′ wide in time. Bloom begins in mid-August most years and diligent water will assist in flower set. Flowers are showy until early October. It has been used as a street tree in Portland with mixed success. Unfortunately, it was grafted. (grafted crape myrtles are not a good way to go) Very good with water and spectacular in summers that are warmer than normal. Brilliant true, stop sign red flowers are incredibly showy with an exotic flair. Very few hardy trees can match the color and opulence of its bloom. New growth is deep maroon changing to mid green at maturity. Wonderful tree. Fall color is brilliant orange/red and the bark exfoliates generously to reveal light tan trunks. Unauthorized propagation prohibited. Plant patent #10,296.
This Carl Whitcomb introduction is an excellent performer in our climate. An upright growing tree to 12′ tall and only 4′ wide. Very ruffled shocking pink flowers begin in early August and continue until early October. New growth is a sultry maroon and this is a great backdrop with the brilliant flowers. Eventually the foliage settles down to deep green. As with all Whitcomb cultivars it has slightly lower water requirements. Still, a deep soak once a week will be sufficient for a moderately fast growing tree. Full hot sun in a hot position. Highly mildew tolerant selection. The large upright trusses of flowers appear as torches and then as complete bloom commences it becomes a cloud of sizzling hot pink. Flowers en masse have a light, sweet fragrance. Easy to grow smaller cultivar. Give it good air circulation. In time the trunks lose their top layer of bark in patches and a tan/pink under coat is revealed. One of the best L. indica selections for the Willamette Valley. Very good cold hardiness here. Fall color is a brilliant if short lived display of red/orange/yellow. As brilliant as the flower color. Unauthorized propagation prohibited. Plant patent #10,319.
The largest triple hybrid from the National Arboretum has yielded an excellent true red flowered, disease resistant and reliable Crape Myrtle. Fast growing to 20′ tall but just 8′ wide it forms a very upright tree. The huge true red flower trusses (to 8″ long) begin in urban areas in late July and continue unabated for two months. New growth is maroon and still retains hints of that as it changes to green- giving this tree a darker look. We have found that it is slightly tender when young- freezes back in cold winters but it rebounds quickly in summer and established trees see no damage. Rich to average (including heavy clay) soils with regular deep summer irrigation for earlier and more prolific bloom. Bark is fair becoming a mottled patchwork of tan. Fall color is brilliant red. Fast growing- easily 3′-4′ per year in well irrigated trees. Mildew resistant. Full, hot sun in a hot position.
Wonderful release from the National Arboretum and this three hybrid small tree is also one of the most reliable red flowering varieties. To 11′ tall forming a very rounded tree about 3/4 as wide. Large, vivid trusses of strawberry red flowers appear in early August and are wildly showy for weeks into early autumn. Moderately fast growing (2′-3′ per year when young) to its ultimate size. Full, all day sun in a hot position. Appreciates rich soil and also loves clay soil. Consistent deep irrigation from late spring into summer spurs more reliable bloom. The brilliant flower color is showy from quite a distance. In time the bark exfoliates in patches to shades of pink and light brown. Fall color is orange/yellow/ light red and reliable. Excellent small tree for warm urban gardens. Once bloom commences it proceeds unabated for months. Disease resistant. Excellent for the hottest locations. This tree blooms quickly in a pot and thus is slower to bulk up than other varieties. Don’t let that deter you. In the ground it grows much more quickly. A Xera favorite crape myrtle. The second 3 way hybrid released by the National Arboretum. OOOOOOH, kinky.
Underused beautiful disease resistant Crape Myrtle that is free blooming with enormous pendulous trusses of pure white flowers. To 15′ tall with a somewhat weeping habit- especially in bloom. It creates a spreading crown on a small easy to grow tree for full, all day sun and regular summer water. The crystal white large flowers appear often as early as late July in hot summers and continues unabated to about the first of October. Fall color is yellow/orange and pretty. The sinuous trunks display taupe/beige glossy bark which is just as showy. Give this wide spreading small tree room to grow. Regular summer water and rich soil yields a growth rate approaching 3′ per year when young. As with almost all Crape trees it grows quickly to its ultimate size and then it slows considerably. Excellent garden tree. National arboretum selection.
Lagerstroemia indica is big on flowers but its also susceptible to powdery mildew among other afflictions (the varieties we grow are resistant). In 1956 a botanist named John Creech located a single specimen of what was to become Lagerstroemia fauriei- Japanese crape myrtle. Its famous for its amazing orange, brown, tan mottled bark and mildew resistance. So, it was incorporated into an existing breeding program by Dr. Egolf at the National Arboretum to eliminate disease and provide crape myrtles in different sizes. It did but also importantly it imparted the wonderful red/ mahogany bark of this species. Lagerstroemia fauriei has a very limited range on the island of Yakushima in Japan. It has larger leaves, smaller, fragrant white flowers- in of itself a fantastic tree. This is where such hybrids as ‘Natchez’, ‘Osage’, ‘Pecos’ among other get their fantastic colorful bark. A little later a second specimen of Lagerstroemia fauriei was located. It was such a beautiful tree that it was named ‘Kiowa’. Pure orange deep mahogany brown trunks are the hallmark of this second specimen. Only one cultivar was the result of crossing Lagerstroemia indica with Lagerstroemia fauriei ‘Kiowa’ to produce this extraordinary cultivar. It was released in 1986. Unfortunately, nursery people didn’t take to it. Dr. Egolf had previously released a LOT of lavender flowered cultivars and this one got overlooked. So good is this tree and with a different genetic makeup than the first fauriei crosses. Importantly it received that deep brown and mottled orange bark as well as fragrant strong lavender flowers. The National Arboretum re-released this tree in 2017 in an effort to redevelop popularity for this extraordinary cultivar. ‘Apalachee; has many outstanding qualities. Its bark is phenomenal, deep glossy brown with orange patches- very striking. The mildew free foliage is dark, lustrous green, and the flowers are sweetly fragrant. Altogether great qualities in an 18′ tall by 8’ wide upright tree. Fall color is a remarkable orange to deep red. This tree has superior flowers to ‘Natchez’ and personally I think the bark is much more showy. Blooms heavily beginning in July. Peaks in a crescendo in August into October. We are very happy to offer this extraordinary tree. Full hot sun in rich soil with regular irrigation for the first several year. Easy and spectacular multi-dimensional tree. Available in 2022.
Obscure and exceptional tree type crape myrtle that was one of supreme breeder Donald Egolf’s favorite introductions from the National Arboretum. He introduced 30 Crape myrtles so thats saying a lot. Fast growing upright tree with phenomenal bark. Cinnamon red/mahogany/cream all are present on this 25′ tall arching tree. From late July to October a fantastic display of luminous soft pink flowers born on huge trusses. Fall color is vivid orange/yellow/red. In time it develops a spreading crown and makes a wonderful garden tree. Average to enriched soil with REGULAR summer water for the first few years. Deep soaks on established trees enhances bloom as well. Full, all day sun in a hot position. Excellent tree to garden with- roots are not intrusive and it happily accepts regular irrigation. Grows about 3′-5′ a year when young- slows down to its ultimate height. This is essentially an improved pink flowered form of ‘Natchez’. Limited quantities.
For our climate this is one of the very finest summer blooming small trees. Forming a perfectly round dome in time to 12′ tall and nearly as wide this free blooming tree also requires the least amount of water to sustain it and bloom. Beginning in mid-July large trusses of bubble gum pink flowers appear and they completely obscure the foliage of the crown re-blooming non-stop until the end of September. In fall reliable and incredibly showy orange to red and yellow fall color is stunning for an extended period of time. The bark sloughs off of older trees to reveal a glossy gray surface. Moderately fast growing this should be a standard landscape plant in our climate. Exceptional cold hardiness and no fear of disease.
One of the first hybrid named cultivars released by the National Arboretum in 1978 and a fantastic cold hardy large free flowering tree. Fast growing tree to 25′ tall and half as wide in 10 years. Beginning in late June large trusses of lavender pink flowers appear and are lightly fragrant.. They increase in abundance and peak in a massive bloom in August. The tall trunks exfoliate to a glossy taupe/patches of tan. Very pretty and exotic looking tree when large. There is a 30′ specimen- one of the first hybrids planted on the west coast in 1974 in SE Portland. Its a spectacular shade tree. Fall color is a brilliant mix of orange and red. Exceptionally hardy to cold. Best with regular irrigation- which speeds growth markedly and improves bloom. Otherwise it takes summer drought in stride. Excellent for use as a street tree. Long, long, bloom season. Fantastic, well behaved large garden tree.
After almost two decades of growing Crape Myrtles we can honestly say that we’ve come to the conclusion that the bark on this tree size cultivar is among the most exceptional of the group. Cinnamon red background with amorphically shaped maroon patches outlined in white. Its natures ravishing puzzle and we love it. Way showier than ‘Natchez’. Wide spreading, semi-pendulous tree to 16′ tall and 10′ wide. Enormous, loose trusses of light pink are early and reliable in our climate. Blooms on average from early August to October. In time it produces a spreading crown and makes an exceptional garden tree. Completely mildew resistant. In autumn the whole tree turns a uniform electric red. Stunning. A fantastic tree that should be known and grown more. Full hot sun, regular summer water. This is a potentially wide tree so give it room on all sides- especially as a multi-trunked form. Occasionally, we have it as a trained standard. Most tree type crape myrtles are shy to bloom their first several years in the ground. Be patient and diligent with summer water which speeds growth and establishment. Good but wide street tree. Requires summer water to perform. National Arboretum selection. It has been planted as a street tree in NW Portland. Good choice!
A deservedly popular tree in western Oregon for several reasons. Large globose panicles of clear pink flowers begin in urban areas as early as the beginning of July and repeat bloom until September. The open and vase shaped habit is graceful and bends gently under the weight of the huge flower trusses. In time this 15′ tree develops some of the best exfoliating bark of the genus. In late summer on trees older than 3 years the top layer of bark sloughs off revealing smooth, rich, chocolate brown trunks. Amazeballs. The bark is showy throughout winter. In autumn the foliage turns to shades of maroon and red. This crape myrtle MUST HAVE regular irrigation to grow and bloom. Excellent small garden tree with some of the lowest heat requirements to bloom. Water. You must water. National Arboretum release 1987, Spectacular tree in western Oregon. ‘Pecos’ has never been popular in the rest of the country. In fact, the main reason it was ever on the market is that the Nursery Monrovia is where many Oregon nurseries get their Crape myrtles. The two selected for the PNW and widely sold are ‘Pecos’- a great very early flowering pink. And ‘Zuni’ a rosy purple. But for Monrovias choice in marketing this tree might never have found popularity in the PNW. It is always the earliest and heavily blooming Crape myrtle in my garden. A splendid small tree.
A really good free blooming tree sized crape myrtle with profuse huge white flower trusses and astonishing orange bark. This is a fast growing tree and if properly irrigated can achieve easily 4′ a year. To 22′ tall and half as wide. Very similar to ‘Natchez’ with several distinct differences. It is a little hardier to cold. For those in cooler rural regions where there is insufficient summer heat to harden the wood for winter this is a good choice. The flowers are primarily held upright as opposed to pendulous on ‘Natchez’, The bark tends more towards pure orange (like a madrone) rather than mottled. Full sun and rich to average soil with regular summer water. Blooms early July to September. Fall color is vivid orange and red. Very nice garden tree and good as a street tree as well.
Sweet little tree that has some of the most vivid fuchsia/magenta flowers in the crape myrtle universe. To 14′ tall with a rounded crown. In late August to October huge trusses of vivid magenta flowers are quite showy. In the waning light of summer this vivid display is welcome. The trunks eventually exfoliate to a soft sandalwood brown with taupe blotches. Very nice. Completely disease resistant. Excellent small garden tree. Fall color is boisterous red and orange. Regular deep irrigation and full all day sun in a hot position. Grows approximately 2′-3′ per year when young. Excellent National Arboretum hybrid that is consistently one of the latest cultivars to bloom in our climate. Very good cold hardiness- this variety grows well in such places as E. Pennsylvania and New York city. Appreciates rich soil and little root competition from other plants. Brilliant floral display. We offer this small tree in a multitrunked form, seldom as a single trunked standard. Beautiful small tree year round. This is a good tree for hot urban conditions- takes the toughest, hottest sites. Pictures below are a great planting of ‘Tonto’ along NE Glisan st. in Portland.
One of the most popular tree type crape myrtles and it is frequently planted as a street tree in the city of Portland. Strongly upright growing tree- almost fastigiate that eventually forms a spreading crown. The silhouette is that of a hot air balloon. Full sun and rich to average soil including clay soils. REGULAR summer water not only ensures a huge flower display in August and September it rapidly speeds the growth rate. Well irrigated trees can put on up to 4′ a year. Otherwise it makes due with little summer water by blooming much later- September. Extremely large hot coral pink trusses are held vertically and are pleasantly fragrant. They can appear the size of a beehive. Less re-bloom than other trees. Fall color is orange/yellow/soft red and lingers. The exfoliating bark takes on a champagne pink glossy sheen when mature. Good garden tree. Excellent street tree. To 22′ tall and 8′ wide at maturity. Water, please water your street trees.
One of the very finest very large growing tree type crape myrtles from the National Arboretum breeding program. Tall and not very wide in time this very fast and upright growing tree sports a spreading crown. In late July to October huge panicles of bright lavender flowers remain showy for weeks. Its a soft color but the display is opulent. In time the bark exfoliates to patches of cinnamon red and mahogany. Very showy. Fall color is an intense display of reds/orange/purple. Full sun and virtually any soil- thrives in clay soils and the reflected heat of parking strips. Of all the Crape myrtle cultivars perhaps this free blooming 26′ tall tree is the best for a candidate as a street tree-though it is never grown as such. This somewhat rare Crape myrtle never gained popularity because it does not root easily in large numbers. That doomed this wonderful tree in the nursery business. We’re happy to offer it on a limited basis. Excellent cold hardiness as well as disease resistance. Well irrigated trees will easily put on 4′ of growth in a year. -Very pretty as a multi-trunked tree and virtually unheard of trained as a standard.
Extraordinary tree that displays HUGE trusses of almost double flowered glowing lavender blue flowers for nearly two months. Open spreading habit on a compact tree to 14′ tall and 8′ wide. The branching structure favors the huge opulent flower clusters which protrude in every direction and which always begin in my garden in early August and continues well into September. Fall color is a vivid orange and yellow combination and is reliable. The sinuous trunk displays pink/tan coloration Smooth and very pretty. Its consistently one of the youngest to show bark coloration. Another less renowned trait is its almost fluid, undulating branching pattern. In a nursery pot you seldom see the true glory of a crape myrtle- trust me, this is a first rate tree. Full hot sun and regular summer irrigation to bloom and thrive. Very cold hardy and disease resistant. An easy and spectacular tree that should be planted everywhere. Beautiful. Excellent small tree for small urban gardens. Mixes well with Japanese Maples and Stewartias. Best to begin irrigation in May if we’ve had an exceptionally dry spring. Wonderful tree year round and an exceptionally heavy and reliable bloomer. One of Paul’s favorite crape myrtle cultivars. Its amazing, Trust me. Combine with late blooming, white flowered Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ for a repeat of luscious, late cone shaped blooms. National Arboretum introduction.
This has become a standard Crape myrtle in our climate. Excellent performance on a well scaled tree to just 17′ tall and very upright. Beginning on average in urban areas in late July large trusses of rosy lavender flowers appear in a huge display, it continues unabated for up to two months. The glossy green leaves turn to red/orange/yellow in autumn for a further display. In mature trees the bark exfoliates to a soft white/ gray- great contrast with the deep green foliage. Grows about 2′-4′ a year if well irrigated. Not fussy about soil just requires full all day sun and deep infrequent irrigation. Good air circulation. First rate small garden tree that is the size of many larger Japanese maples and pairs wonderfully with them in gardens. Very easy to grow tree.
Well known as the queen of crape myrtles ‘Natchez’ is a magical tree with many different kinds of beauty. In mid-summer to October large trusses of pure white flowers bend twigs gracefully. Its bark is among the most striking of any tree. Swaths of cinnamon red and taupe mottled patterns envelope the trunk. In fall red to yellow fall color is showy for several weeks. To 22′ tall and half as wide in 10 years. Average soil that drains as well as regular summer irrigation both speeds growth and encourages blossoming. A striking specimen and useful as a street tree that will never become entangled in overhead wires. Completely disease resistant. Fall leaves drop and decompose almost instantly. Very nice- no raking. Fast growing in youth. Best with regular irrigation.