With these characteristics: None
Lythraceae - Crapemyrtle
Leaves: Opposite, or occasionally alternate or whorled near branch ends; simple; 1" to 3" long; 3/4" to 1- 1/2" wide; deciduous; entire; elliptic to oblong; dark green and glabrous on top, glossy; lighter and glabrous beneath, often with hair on midrib; petiole very short or missing; yellow, orange, or red fall color.
Twigs/buds: Twigs slender; almost square in cross-section on young stems; red-green at first turning brown; glabrous. Buds pointed, with 2 outer scales fringed with small hairs; pressed against twig.
Flowers/fruit: Flowers perfect; 1" to 1-1/2" wide; fringed or crinkled petals; showy; white, pink, purple, or red; in 6" to 8" long clusters at the ends of the branches; appear in July to September. Fruit a 6-part capsule that splits open at maturity releasing winged seeds; 1/2" wide; matures in fall and stays on through winter.
Bark: Gray; smooth; peels off in thin layers exposing gray to brown inner bark; very attractive.
Wood: No information available.
General: Shrub to small tree native to China. Shade intolerant. Sucker (sprout) growth can be a problem.
Landscape Use: Very attractive flowers and bark. My main experience with this shrubby tree was in Alabama, where it was widely planted for its flowers. I found it to be somewhat leggy and awkward when planted as a small street tree, but many cultivars exist with a variety of sizes and growth habits. Would need a warm climate if planted in Utah. Zones 6(5?)-9.
Cultivars: Numerous varieties
- Lythraceae - Crapemyrtle
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