Tropical flowering crape myrtles, a shrub within the genus Lagerstroemia, are found growing from Asia to Australia, where they thrive along rivers. The clusters of bright blooms on myrtles have crinkled petals and grow in a wide range of colors, including purple, white, red and pink. Known for its exfoliating and mottled bark, crape myrtle makes for an ideal specimen shrub or grown in colorful masses along the landscape.
Crape Myrtle "Country Red"
Crape myrtle "Country Red" (Lagerstroemia "Country Red") is a flowering deciduous shrub that has showy red flowers to create a vibrant landscape addition. They grow 4 to 10 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide and have an upright, spreading form. The crepe-thin, paperlike, bright red flowers on crape myrtle "Country Red" have a yellow center and emerge in mid-summer to last into early fall. The spring-blooming, dark green foliage turns a yellow to orange in fall for a fiery display. Crape myrtle shrubs have gray to brown bark that, as they age, exfoliates more and more. Crape myrtle "Country Red" grow best in full sun and well-drained, moist and clay to loamy soils. They are suitable to grow in USDA zones 6 to 9.
Crape Myrtle "Natchez"
Crape myrtle "Natchez" (Lagerstroemia "Natchez" ) is a flowering deciduous shrub that has a multistemmed, spreading form and upright habit. It grows 4 to 21 feet tall and wide, creating a commanding landscape presence. The terminal, papery, long inflorescences or panicles of crape myrtle "Natchez" grow 6 to 12 inches long and bloom from mid-summer to early fall. Crape myrtles have dark green foliage that changes to orange and red in fall. The exfoliating bark on crape myrtle "Natchez" is dark brown to cinnamon and exfoliates more and more as the shrub ages. They grow best in full sun and moist, nutrient-rich soil that is well-drained. It tolerates clay soil as long as it is properly drained. Plant crape myrtle "Natchez" in USDA zones 6 to 9.
Crape Myrtle "Chickasaw"
Crape myrtle "Chickasaw" (Lagerstroemia "Chickasaw") is a spreading dwarf deciduous shrub that has a mounded and dense shape. It grows up to 20 inches tall and 26 inches wide, making an ideal accent shrub to a bed or border. Crape myrtle "Chickasaw" produces masses of crepelike, crinkled flowers that are pink to lavender and emerge in mid-summer and last until it frosts, creating a long-lasting tropical flowering crape myrtle variety. The glossy, dark green leaves on crape myrtle emerge in spring and have an oval shape. They grow best in full sun and well-drained, moist soil and do well in clay and loamy soils. Plant crape myrtle "Chickasaw" in USDA zones 6 to 9.