Crapemyrtle is a beautiful ornamental tree which is almost perfectly engineered for Oklahoma lawns and gardens. Available in many different colors, heights and growth structures, Crapemyrtles in their truest form are a shrub.
Many varieties are available ranging in heights of 3 to 11 feet for the ornamental trees and 15 to 20 feet for other varieties.
Let’s not forget the Crapemyrtle dwarfs which can be 2 to 3 feet tall.
These colorful plants not only hold up to Oklahoma’s heat with showy flowers, but also the Oklahoma soil. During Oklahoma winters, we learn to appreciate the Crapemyrtles artful structure, seed capsules and peeling bark.
These guys love full sun and plenty of circulation. When choosing your plant give careful consideration to the size of the plant when full grown. Do not buy a ornamental tree when what you need is a 2 foot variety. Pruning or topping is not a remedy for choosing the wrong size of plant.
FLOWERS AND FRUIT:
The flowers are lacy and showy, coming in a multitude of colors and shades of predominantly pinks and violets. Whites and reds are also available. The seed capsules left at the ends of the branches by the flowers are great for attracting birds during the winter months. I think the pods also add to the winter interest of the tree.
The peeling bark is one of the treasures we are left with during the winter months. The bark is very smooth and ranges in color from pinkish to grayish. The bark is quite thin and exfoliates to expose smooth pale-colored branch underneath.
Small, alternate, leaves that are rounded at the base, generally 1/2 inch to 2 inches long. The leaves will change colors in fall before dropping.
Enjoy watching the birds? Remember to give them water.
The “Original” Red Dirt Gardener