Trusses of white, pink, mauve or purple blooms appear in late summer. The petals are ruffled, with a crepe-like texture. In autumn the mid-green leaves turn yellow, orange or red (depending on the variety) before falling. Unpruned crepe myrtles develop beautifully coloured, smooth, mottled trunks.
There is an Australian native crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia archeriana), which grows to around 7m tall and has pinkish mauve flowers. The Indian Summer Crepe Myrtle range (Lagerstroemia indica x L. fauriei) which is widely planted in Melbourne as a street tree, has been specially bred to resist powdery mildew, a fungal disease that can be seen on some older crepe myrtle varieties. Each cultivar is named after an American Indian tribe, and they range in size from around 3-6m fully grown. Illustrated here is the variety "Tonto".
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