The Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia) is a group of approximately 50 varieties of small trees and shrubs. Widely noted for their long-lasting clusters of beautifully colored flowers, Crape Myrtles are excellent as specimen trees around your home. They can also be seen growing along highways and byways across the southern United States.
Depending on the variety, Crape Myrtles can be in full bloom for upwards of 120 days, among the longest flowering periods of any tree. The largest varieties can exceed 30 feet in height, while the smallest, shrubby varieties reach only three to five feet. Cold hardiness varies from variety to variety. General plant care requirements vary as well. Below you will find a brief listing of popular Crape Myrtle varieties organized according to height at maturity.
The shrubby Crape Myrtles include Victor, Centennial, and Chickasaw, none of which reaches more than five feet in height. Slightly taller, from seven to nine feet, are the spreading Crape Myrtles, which include the Pecos, Hopi, Zuni, and Caddo varieties. Two globe-shaped varieties come in at nine or 10 feet: Tonto and Cherokee. Each of these Crape Myrtles has its own flower colors, from pink through purple to bright red.
Several broad, spreading varieties of Crape Myrtle are available, including Acoma, Tuskegee, and Townhouse, reaching between 15 and 20 feet in height. The upright growing, small tree specimens include Comanchee, Sioux, Yuma, Lipan, Apalachee, Catawba, and Powhatan. The Osage, Potomac, and Conestoga varieties of Crape Myrtle grow to between 15 and 19 feet and are known for their graceful, arching branches.
Several medium-size Crape Myrtle varieties are great for use as specimen trees in smaller -- or larger --yards. The Miami is an upright grower that reaches 25 feet at maturity. The Tuscarora, Wichita, and Biloxi varieties have an attractive vase-shape and grow to approximately 25 feet as well.
The largest Crape Myrtle varieties, with broad, upright growth patterns, include the Muskogee, Natchez, Fantasy, and Fauriei. The Muskogee’s flowers are lavender, while the latter three send out white blooms. The Fauriei reaches 35 to 50 feet in height, while the others top out at 35 feet.