Lagerstroemia indica


L. indica



Local Names

Gul-dasta/ crepe flower




Native to Indian sub-continent and south east Asia (Introduced to Pakistan)

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Lagerstroemia indica, the crape myrtle (also crepe myrtle, crêpe myrtle, or crepeflower) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Lagerstroemia of the family Lythraceae. It is native to the Indian Subcontinent (hence the species epithet indica), and also to Southeast Asia, China, Korea and Japan. The genus name honors Swedish botanist Magnus von Lagerström. It is an often multi-stemmed, deciduous tree with a wide spreading, flat topped, rounded, or even spike shaped open habit. The tree is a popular nesting shrub for songbirds and wrens.
In the United Kingdom, Lagerstroemia indica has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
Lagerstroemia is a common planting in South Atlantic States and is becoming an increasingly common shrub in Mid-Atlantic states all the way up through the coastal areas of Massachusetts. Lagerstroemia also thrives in the Mediterranean and Desert climates of Southern California, Arizona and Nevada, and also in Australia as a street plant.

In the Southern U.S. mildew and fungal diseases have traditionally posed problems for L. indica. This was a major motivation for developing the L. indica × L. fauriei hybrids, which show increased resistance to powdery mildew and fungus. The fungal pathogen Cercospora lythracearum can infest the plant in summer during hot, rainy weather and cause premature leaf drop. Gardeners plant resistant hybrid varieties or use fungicide sprays to help control this. Insect problems with Lagestroemia indica include the crape myrtle aphid, Tinocallis kahawaluokalani, which can cause yellow spots and black mold, Japanese beetles, and the flea beetle. None of these insects are fatal to the plant and other predator insects are usually enough to resolve infestations; however applications of insecticidal soap can also be helpful.

Crape myrtle topping
During the winter, gardeners will often lop off the branches of large specimens, to manage size and encourage more profuse summer bloom. This is colloquially known as "crape murder" because of the drastic pruning involved, leaving a bare trunk during the winter and early spring. Tree topping of crape myrtles is a common occurrence, but is not recommended nor endorsed by many professional standards or arboricultural organizations.

In culture
In 1983, Hinako Sugiura started a manga series titled Sarusuberi, after the Japanese name of the plant. Sugiura compared the flowering season of L. indica, that keeps blooming and dropping flowers at the same time, with the vigor of ukiyo-e art, the setting of the manga.