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Lagerstroemia indica (Tuscarora) Crape-myrtle is a single or multi-trunk small tree with a wide-spreading to moderately dense crown. Tuscarora can be flat-topped, rounded, or vase-shaped. And it can potentially grow to a height of 10 – 30 feet and a spread 15 – 25 feet, but in cultivation is typically much smaller. It can also be grown as a shrub.
The bark is very attractive, as it is smooth, pinkish-gray, and mottled, and peels off yearly. Besides, the dark-green, shiny, deciduous throws its leaves in winter; they are alternate, small, 2 – 4 inches long and under 2 inches wide, with smooth edges, round or oval-shape, changing to yellow, orange or red in autumn before falling.
Furthermore, 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 ruffles 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-like seeds.
Lagerstroemia indica (Tuscarora) Crape-myrtle propagates by seed or cuttings. And it grows best in moist, well-drained soils. Pruning is necessary to obtain a single trunk and to shape the crown. The plant is hardy, it tolerates freezing temperatures, but is susceptible to aphids. Tuscarora 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.