Lagerstroemia loudonii (Thai Crape Myrtle) is a single or multi-trunked small tree with a wide-spreading, moderately dense crown. The species is native to Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand, where it grows in mixed forests at low altitudes. The species names honor the Scottish botanist and landscape designer John Claudius Loudon (1783–1843).
Flowering and Foliage
The Thai crape myrtle is cataloged as being of small to medium size, measuring around 10–20 ft. The attractive trunk(s) feature a greyish bark that is fissured longitudinally and branches out to a flat-topped, round, or vase-shaped crown. From which the glossy foliage spreads. Leaves extend on 0.3–0.5 long petioles in an opposite manner and are simple, oblong-elliptic, with an entire margin and pointed apex. Glabrous above, pubescent below.
Due to its deciduous character the Lagerstroemia loudonii (Thai Crape Myrtle), leaves fall out to give space to its impressive flowers. Blooming generally occurs during the dry season, from February to April. Flowering occurs in a panicle-like axillary inflorescence of 10–30 cm long, bearing several 6-7 cm-long flowers of pale purple or lavender color that fade with time to white.
Furthermore, the propagation of Lagerstroemia loudonii (Thai Crape Myrtle) is by seed or cuttings. It grows best in moist, well-drained soils. In order to keep a standard single trunk shape and form the crown, it is important to prune regularly. The plant is hardy and tolerates freezing temperatures, but it is susceptible to aphids, which can be controlled.
Like the other crape-myrtles, the Lagerstroemia loudonii (Thai Crape Myrtle) is one of the most recognized ornamental trees. And is that the South Florida landscape has a soft spot for this crepe-like flowering species? They are lovely, delicate trees with bright, spectacular pale purple flowers that sometimes endure for over 100 days. But on top of its flowering habit, the Thai’s crape myrtle leaves turn into a fabulous fall color when the weather begins to chill (autumn-winter).