From China, Korea, Japan and Indian Subcontinent Lagerstroemia indica is an often multi-stemmed, 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, pinkish-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 9 centimetres (3 1⁄2 in).
Lagerstroemia indica is frost tolerant, prefers full sun and will grow to 6 metres (20 ft) with a spread of 6 metres (20 ft).
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