Lagerstroemia chinensis Lam.
Lagerstroemia elegans Wall. ex Paxton
Lagerstroemia minor Retz.
Lagerstroemia pulchra Salisb.
Murtughas indica (L.) Kuntze
Velaga globosa Gaertn.
Common Name: Crepe Myrtle
Flowering plant in native habitat
Photograph by: Dalgial
Lagerstroemia indica is a deciduous shrub or small tree with an upright, vase-shaped crown; it can grow from 3 - 8 metres tall[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of wood. It is used in soil stabilization projects and is a very ornamental plant, valued especially for its floral display and neat habit, being commonly grown in gardens, as a street tree etc from the warm temperate zone to the tropics - there are many named varieties[
E. Asia - China, Korea.
Open grassy places and on cliffs at low altitudes[
], also on forest edges[
]. Semi-shaded places and fertile fields[
|Other Uses Rating
Lagerstroemia indica is a plant of the warm temperate zone, but is widely cultivated from the temperate zone to the tropics. Dormant plants are hardy to about -10°c if the wood is well ripened[
]. The plant requires very hot and humid summers to do well[
Succeeds in most well-drained soils in a sunny sheltered position, though appreciates some shade when growing in areas with very hot summers[
]. Succeeds in a hot dry position. Succeeds in soils low in nutrients[
]. Dislikes very alkaline soils[
]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[
Lagerstroemia indica is a widely grown ornamental shrub or small tree that has escaped from cultivation and become naturalized on waste ground, disturbed sites, open grasslands, and along roadsides in a great variety of climates in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It has a very aggressive and dense root system that can outcompete native species. It is listed as invasive in South Africa, Belize, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands[
A very ornamental plant, widely cultivated. There are many named cultivars, ranging in size from 1 - 8 metres[
Young plants grow fairly quickly and will often flower in their first year after planting out[
Flowers are produced in broad panicles on the tips of the current years growth[
]. Any pruning is best carried out in the spring in order to encourage new growth[
Plants do not transplant well and should be moved with a large rootball[
This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[
The stem bark is febrifuge, stimulant and styptic[
The bark, flowers and leaves are considered to be hydrogogue and a drastic purgative[
]. A paste of the flowers is applied externally to cuts and wounds[
The root is astringent, detoxicant and diuretic[
A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of colds[
Lagerstroemia indica can succeed on poor soils, and has a dense and wide spreading root system which makes it useful for planting in erosion control projects[
When growing in areas polluted by heavy metals the plant has been shown to concentrate several of these metals in its tissues. It has a high potential for use in phytoremediation projects, either as a means of removing these metals or as a means of locking them up and helping to restore the fertility of the soil[
The white to light brown wood is hard. A useful timber of excellent quality[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until large enough to plant out.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel. Fair to good percentage[
Cuttings of mature wood[
Root cuttings 4cm long. High percentage[
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