Lagerstroemia indica ‘Dynamite’®

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USDA Hardiness zone: Zn6b 0º to -5ºF

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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.

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