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Lagerstroemia indica (Natchez) Crape-myrtle is a single or multi-trunked small tree with a wide-spreading to moderately dense crown. Natchez can be flat-topped, rounded, or vase-shaped. It potentially can grow to a height of 10 – 30 feet and a spread of 15 – 25 feet, but in cultivation is typically much smaller. It can be grown as a shrub. The bark is very attractive, smooth, pinkish-gray, and mottled, peeling off yearly. The dark-green, shiny, deciduous leaves are shed in winter; they are alternate, small, 2 – 4 inches long and under 2 inches wide, with a smooth edge, round or oval, changing to yellow, orange or red in autumn before falling.
Furthermore, the flowers appear when the tree is without leaves and are very showy, borne in erect clusters up to 3 1/2 inches long; blossoms have ruffled or crinkly petals (like crepe paper), are variable in color depending upon the variety and measure 1 – 1 1/2 inches across. Fruits are small, oval to round capsules, about 1/2 inch long and brown; fruits persist on the tree and are showy before releasing disc-shaped seeds. Lagerstroemia indica (Natchez) Crape-myrtle is propagated by seed or cuttings. It grows best in moist, well-drained soils. Pruning is recommended if a single trunk is desired as well as to shape the crown.
The plant is hardy, tolerates freezing temperatures, but is susceptible to aphids, which can be controlled. Natchez is a very popular small landscape tree because of its overall beauty. It is an excellent tree or shrub in yards and gardens, parks, in parking lots, and along roadways.