lagerstroemia

Crape myrtles are one of our favorite plants for summer color. Their flowers, in saturated pink, magenta, purple or white, add an unexpected pop of color at a time of year when most shrubs and trees have finished blooming.

Crape myrtles don’t stop with great flowers though; pretty red-tipped summer leaves turn glorious gold, orange, red and purple in autumn before falling off. Great bark completes the ornamental trifecta. The bark on many Crape myrtles peels in puzzle patterns to reveal smooth cinnamon or tan colors that glow during winter, especially when glistening in Portland rain.

Lagerstroemias are available in different mature sizes; some are shrubs, growing between 5-8 feet. Others are larger, growing into lovely trees up to 20-25 feet. Tree types are now included on Portland’s street tree lists, and are an excellent choice for parking strips that are very hot, provided that they are watered weekly.

Crape myrtles are native to areas where summer rain is frequent, often in the form of thunder storms. Portland summers are typically hot and dry, so supplying weekly deep watering is important for good blooming and strong growth. They also love heat. South-facing, blazing sun all day or reflected heat from sidewalks and walls is their ideal site. Surprisingly Crape myrtles thrive in heavy soil, having thick roots that push through clay. They languish in soil that is soggy during wet months and soil that is nutrient rich and amended.

Plants are available in a wide range of mature sizes, from dwarf forms maturing at 3-4’ to trees growing to 20-25’.

coral-magic

Lagerstroemia 'Coral Magic'

Big clusters of coral pink flowers in August, red new leaves turn dusky dark green – red fall color, grows 6-10’ x 6-10’.

arapaho

Lagerstroemia 'Arapaho'

Grows 18'-20' tall.

Lagerstroemia indica 'Tuscarora'

Lagerstroemia 'Tuscarora'

natchez

Lagerstroemia 'Natchez'

Grows 20'-25' tall.

lagerstroemia-bark
Peeling cinnamon colored bark adds winter interest.
Lagerstroemia

Follow the links below for help with selecting a Crape myrtle that is well-suited to Portland.

Find the best Trees for your Garden

We carry a wide variety of trees year-round. These represent only a fraction of what you will find and are some of our favorites. Note: Viewing a Native Plant will take you into our Native Plant section.

Trees

Abies: The Fir Tree

Natives

Native Abies: Native Fir

Natives

Native Acer Circinatum:

Vine Maple
Trees

Acers for Fall Color

Trees

Acer palmatum: Japanese Maple

Trees

Bird Haven

Trees

Cercis: Redbud

Trees

Conifers

Trees

Cornus: Dogwood

Trees

Cryptomeria: Japanese Cedar

Trees

Fruit Trees

Trees

Ginkgo: Maidenhair Tree

Trees

Heptacodium: Seven Sons Flower

Trees

Lagerstroemia: Crape Myrtle

Trees

Larix: Larch Tree

Trees

Magnolia Trees

Natives

Malus fusca

Western Crabapple
Trees

Miniature Conifers

Trees

Oxydendrum: The Sourwood Tree

Trees

Picea: The Spruce Tree

Natives

Pinus: Native Pine

Trees

Planting Tips

Trees

Pruning Guide

Trees

Prunus: Cherries &
their Prunus relatives

Natives

Quercus: Garry Oak

Trees

Salix: Willow

Trees

Stewartia

Trees

Styrax: Japanese Snowbell

Trees

Tree Selection Guide