Crape myrtle, also sometimes spelled like the thin pancake, crepe, is a staple of Southern charm that can be found up the Atlantic Coast as far north as Massachusetts.
This flowering tree boasts bright summer flowers and equally impressive fall foliage. You can find crape myrtle trees with flowers in varying shades of pink, purple, red and white, all of which are long-lasting from summer to fall. Many people also find the bark to be visually pleasing as it sheds throughout the year, leaving layers of unique texture. Typically, you’ll want to prune the tree during winter, and clip spent flowers during late spring so that more can grow.
Did You Know?
Crape myrtle gets its name from its thin, crinkly flowers, resembling the texture of crepe paper.
Other Fun Facts About Crape Myrtle
- There are roughly 50 species of crape myrtle, ranging from 1 foot to 100 feet tall.
- Crape myrtle isn’t originally from the American South; it’s actually native to southeast Asia, northern Australia and Oceania.
- The common crape myrtle was first introduced to the U.S. from China and Korea in Charleston, South Carolina circa 1790.
- Crape myrtles belong to the Lythraceae family of flowering plants, also called the loosestrife family.