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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.

Queens CrapeQueens Crape Myrtle, Inset - Seed Pods

Plant Facts:

Common Name:  Queens Crape Myrtle, Pride of India

Botanical Name:  Lagerstroemia speciosa or L. flos-reginae

Family:  Lythraceae

Plant Type:  Deciduous or evergreen tree

Origin: India

Zones: 10-11

Height:  30'

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

Form:  Tree

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 ftf.gif (16881 bytes)

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Last updated 06/03/08