There are many species of Crapemyrtle and most of these are native to Asia. We grow two different species here in the United States. The common Crapemyrtle, Lagerstroemia indica, was introduced in 1747 and has been planted all over the South. You can find many aged trees around old home sites. Over the years there have been literally hundreds of selections named with variations of flower colors, growth habits and mature sizes.
In the 1950's, the Japanese Crapemyrtle, Lagerstroemia faurei, was brought to the United States. This cold-hardy Crapemyrtle, with its beautiful trunk coloration and resistance to powdery mildew, was part of an extensive breeding program at the U.S. National Arboretum conducted by Dr. Don Egolf. The goal of the breeding program was to combine the trunk attributes and powdery mildew resistance of the Japanese Crapemyrtle with the variety of flower colors of the common Crapemyrtle. Dr. Egolf introduced over 30 of these hybrids into the horticultural industry of which the variety ‘Natchez’ has become the most notable selection.
The purpose of this site is to provide information on many of the hybrid or improved varieties that are resistant to powdery mildew. Information on mature size, flower color, growth habit, and trunk coloration is critical for selecting the best tree for a particular spot in the landscape. If you are looking for a variety which will grow to 10 feet tall, it makes no sense to select a variety that grows to 30 feet. Also included within this site are cultural management guidelines for maintaining healthy trees.
Funds for this project were provided by the Urban and Community Forestry Grant Assistance Program administered through the SC Forestry Commission and funded by the USDA Forest Service.