Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crepe myrtles

Crepe myrtles are among the world's best flowering trees. They are native to eastern Asia and are hardy in most parts of Australia. They are also resistant to powdery mildew, a fungal disease that is difficult to control with fungicides.

A deciduous, vase-shaped tree about 6-8m (18-25') tall. It is often severely pruned and grown as a shrub 3-4m (10-12') tall. Trusses of white, pink, mauve or purple blooms appear in late summer. The petals are ruffled, with a crepe-like texture. In autumn the mid-green leaves turn yellow, orange or red (depending on the variety) before falling. Unpruned crepe myrtles develop beautifully coloured, smooth, mottled trunks. There is an Australian native crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia archeriana), which grows to around 7m (20') tall and has pinkish mauve flowers.

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