Lagerstroemia indica, commonly known as Crepe Myrtle is native to Southeastern Asia, Indian subcontinent, northern Australia and parts of Oceania. It is widely cultivated in warmer climates around the world. It is a member of the family Lythraceae.

It is a deciduous, vase-shaped tree about 6-8m tall. It is often severely pruned and grown as a shrub 3-4m tall.

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Trusses of white, pink, mauve or purple blooms appear in early summer.

Flowers are borne in summer and autumn in panicles of crinkled flowers with a crepe-like texture. Colours vary from white to pink, mauve and purple, with almost every shade in between.

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A panicle of flower buds and white crinkled flowers with a crepe-like texture
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Panicle of pink crinkled flowers with a crepe-like texture

The flower has a calyx of 6 green sepals, 6 crinkled petals with crepe-like appearance, 6 long stamens and 18 shorter ones, a pistil with 6 carpels.

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The flower has a calyx of 6 green sepals, 6 crinkled petals with crepe-like appearance, 6 long stamens and 18 short ones and a long pistil
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The short anthers seen under microscope
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The short and the long anthers seen under microscope showing how the long anther attached to the filament
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The ovary cut openly transversely showing 6 carpels
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The ovary cut openly longitudinally showing the carpels

The fruit is a capsule, green and succulent at first, then ripening to dark brown or black dryness. It splits along six or seven lines, producing teeth much like those of the calyx, and releases numerous, small, winged seeds.

 

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Capsules of the fruits have been split open

Crepe myrtles develop beautifully coloured, smooth, mottled trunks. Bark exfoliates (after about three years) to reveal a light greyish-brown underbark.

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The beautifully coloured, smooth, mottled trunk of the Crepe Myrtle of white flowers

 

 

 

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Crepe Myrtle of pink flowers with an even more colourful smooth, mottled trunk
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The branches intertwine themselves beautifully up the tree

 

 

A botanical drawing

 

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From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagerstroemia

 

Bibliography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagerstroemia

http://www.burkesbackyard.com.au/fact-sheets/in-the-garden/trees-and-palms/crepe-myrtle/#.Vlrr83YrIgs

http://brenlissaonlinenursery.com.au/product/lagerstroemia-indica-crepe-myrtle-acoma/

 

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