Crape myrtles, Lagerstroemia spp., are popular landscape shrubs and small trees. Native to China, Japan, and Korea southward to Oceania, crape myrtles have been cultivated in the U.S. for more than 175 years. Cultivars range from 3-foot shrubs to 30-foot-tall trees, and they are graced with large panicles of white, pink, lavender, purple, red, and many colors in between. Among cultivars, crape myrtles have a wide range of tolerance to key pests and diseases, such as powdery mildew, flea beetles, crape myrtle aphids, and Japanese beetles. The plant’s flowers are widely admired by humans and can serve as nectar and pollen sources for pollinators. With the recent decline in pollinator health and diversity, pollinator visitation, pest susceptibility, and horticultural attributes should all be considered when choosing crape myrtle cultivars for home and commercial landscapes.
Status and Revision History
Published on Mar 31, 2020