A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

Plant of the Week: Lagerstroemia ‘Natchez’ (Crape Myrtle cultivar)

Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Senior Horticultural Interpreter.

Crape myrtles are usually associated with the warmer areas of the U.S.—they are common in the elegant gardens of Charleston and Savannah—but they can thrive further north, even here in the Bronx.

A beautiful example is Lagerstroemia ‘Natchez,’ a hybrid crape myrtle developed by the National Arboretum in Washington D.C. A fine specimen can be seen in front of Wave Hill House.setting

It is attractive throughout the year, with masses of white flowers in late summer and lovely, copper-tinted foliage in fall. In winter, when the main stems and branches are more noticeable, the bark glows a warm cinnamon and is particularly beautiful when set off against a blanket of snow.close-up

Most crape myrtle species are native to the Indian subcontinent and southeastern Asia. This cultivar (‘Natchez’) is a hybrid between Lagerstroemia indica and L. fauriei.

One thought on “Plant of the Week: Lagerstroemia ‘Natchez’ (Crape Myrtle cultivar)

  1. Thank you, that is a beautiful example of the beauty of winter bark.For anyone with further interest, there is a lovely L.’Natchez’ at the New York Botanical Garden, along with three other crepe myrtles cultivated by the U.S. National Arboretum and named for Native American tribes: ‘Tuskegee,’ ‘Muskogee’, and ‘Choctaw’. They can easily be compared to one another as they are all in the Ladies’ Border, a sheltered south-facing garden designed by Lynden B.Miller to include tender plants not normally grown in New York.

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