Crape Myrtle – Lagerstromia indica
- Height: 40′
- Spread: equal
- Planted by: City of Long Beach between 1958 and 1967
- Family: Lythraceae
- Common Names: China Berry, Lilac of the South
- Botanical Names: L. elegans
A deciduous tree exhibiting primarily yellow fall color occasionally red if extreme cold hits Long Beach. The leaves are small rarely getting larger than two inches, as they emerge the new foliage is often tinted with bronze tones. Exfoliating bark reveals a satin smooth trunk mottled in tones of beige and taupe making this a very attractive feature.
Lagerstromia readily forms multi-trunked trees, suckering from the roots can be an issue, especially if it does not get deep watering.
The delicate flowers are one of the selling points of the tree. The flowers individually are just over an inch in diameter and give the appearance of crape paper. These flowers are united in clusters called panicles borne at the end of the branches and measure 6-12”. Not fragrant, the flower offers more to the eye then the nose but the late summer bloom fills a period that is often devoid of color.