Lagerstroemia indica, commonly known as Crepe Myrtle is native to Southeastern Asia, Indian subcontinent, northern Australia and parts of Oceania. It is widely cultivated in warmer climates around the world. It is a member of the family Lythraceae.
It is a deciduous, vase-shaped tree about 6-8m tall. It is often severely pruned and grown as a shrub 3-4m tall.
Trusses of white, pink, mauve or purple blooms appear in early summer.
Flowers are borne in summer and autumn in panicles of crinkled flowers with a crepe-like texture. Colours vary from white to pink, mauve and purple, with almost every shade in between.
The flower has a calyx of 6 green sepals, 6 crinkled petals with crepe-like appearance, 6 long stamens and 18 shorter ones, a pistil with 6 carpels.
The fruit is a capsule, green and succulent at first, then ripening to dark brown or black dryness. It splits along six or seven lines, producing teeth much like those of the calyx, and releases numerous, small, winged seeds.
Crepe myrtles develop beautifully coloured, smooth, mottled trunks. Bark exfoliates (after about three years) to reveal a light greyish-brown underbark.
A botanical drawing