From China, Korea, Japan and Indian Subcontinent Lagerstroemia indica is an often multistemmed, deciduous tree with a wide spreading, flat topped, rounded, or even spike shaped open habit. Planted in full sun or under canopy, the tree is a popular nesting shrub for songbirds and wrens.
The bark is a prominent feature being smooth, pinkinsh-gray and mottled, shedding each year. Leaves also shed each winter, after spectacular color display, and bare branches re-leaf early in the spring; leaves are small, smooth -edged, circular or oval -shaped, and dark green changing to yellow and orange and red in autumn.
Flowers, on different trees, are white, pink, mauve, purple or carmine with crimped petals, in panicles up to 9cm.
Lagerstroemia indica is frost tolerant, prefers full sun and will grow to 6 metres with a spread of 6 metres.
Many hybrid cultivars have been developed between L. indica and L. faueri
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- Flora, The Gardeners Bible, ABC Publishing, Ultimo, NSW, Australia, 2005