Sizing Up Crape Myrtles (Including Most Recent Introductions)

Delta Jazz crape myrtle at UNiv. of Tennessee Gardens, Knoxville

Delta Flame crape myrtle

Hybrid crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia fauriei x indica) have undergone significant makeovers over the past quarter century.  Several new cultivar series continue to arrive garden centers, including: Black Diamond™ series, Enduring Summer™, Delta™ series, and Magic™ series.

In landscape terms size is very important and gardeners often make a serious error when not calculating the size of crape myrtle for the planting space. Crape myrtles  fall into four size categories. Included here are a sampling of the major cultivars based on popularity in the mid-South region (Northern Atlanta thru Eastern Maryland):

Four Height Groups and Flower Color

Dwarf (less than 5 feet)
‘Pocomoke’ – rose pink
‘Berry Dazzle’ – fuchsia
‘Cherry Dazzle’ – vibrant red

Semi-dwarf (5 to 12 feet)
‘Acoma’ – pure white
‘Dwarf Centennial’ – lavender
‘Hopi’ – light pink
‘Tonto’ – fuchsia (red)
‘Zuni’ – medium lavender

Intermediate (13 to 20 feet)
‘Apalachee’ – light lavender
‘Dynamite’ – cherry red
‘Lipan’ – medium lavender
‘Osage’ – light pink
‘Sioux’ – dark pink

Tree type (23 feet and higher)
‘Carolina Beauty’ – dark pink
‘Muskogee’ – light lavender
‘Natchez’ – white
‘Tuscarora’ – dark coral pink
‘Tuskegee’ – dark pink, almost red

New crape myrtle series:

Black Diamond Series – 10 to 12 feet high and 8 feet spread with almost black foliage. Currently there are 9 cultivars ranging from red shades, pink shades, white, purple, and lavender.

Magic Series from First Editions® is a selection of intermediate size crape myrtles with glossy disease-free foliage; they bloom all summer into fall and hold their leaves until late. Currently there are 8 cultivars in the series of various sizes and color range.

Delta Series are part of the Southern Living Plant Collection (USDA hardiness zones 7-9); there are currently four cultivars in four colors: white, red, lavender, and light pink; foliage- unique burgundy, cupped leaves; grow between 6-10 foot tall.

Enduring Summer™ are part of the Garden Debut Plant Collection (USDA hardiness zones 7-9);  there are 6 cultivars and grow 4-5 feet tall and wide


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