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Plant of the Month
Queens Crape Myrtle, Pride of India or Lagerstroemia speciosa (or L. flos-reginae) is a deciduous or evergreen tree native to India. Of the family Lythraceae they are cultivated for their conical, brightly colored panicles of flowers (with characteristic crinkled petals) and valuable reddish timber called "Jarool", which is used for fine cabinetry and exterior applications. Lagerstroemia is named for Swedish botanist Magnus Von Lagerstroem, who collected Indian plants for Carl Linnaeus.
Common Name: Queens Crape Myrtle, Pride of India
Botanical Name: Lagerstroemia speciosa or L. flos-reginae
Plant Type: Deciduous or evergreen tree
Rate of Growth: Medium
Salt Tolerance: None
Soil Requirements: Moderately fertile, well-drained soil
Water Requirements: Moderate drought tolerance, water sparingly when not actively growing otherwise water freely
Nutritional Requirements: Medium, balanced liquid fertilizer every 6-8 weeks during active growth
Light Requirements: Full sun
Leaves: Dark green 6-12" long, oblong
Flowers: Brightly colored panicles of crinkled crape-like flowers in light pink, magenta, often lavender.
Fruits: Woody round pods 1" across, can persist on tree all winter, when ripe turn black and split.
Pests or diseases: Dieback, powdery mildew, aphids, scale insects, mealybugs and white flies.
Uses: Specimen plant
Bad Habits: None
Cost: $$ -- reasonable
Propagation: Seed sown in spring, softwood cuttings in late spring or semi-ripe cuttings with bottom heat in summer.
Sources: The Subtropical Garden, Flowering Trees of Florida
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Plants of the Month Index
Last updated 06/03/08