This summer season we have seen some great Crape Myrtle blossoms in many different colors across Central Florida. They flower for up to 100 days! They have rich colors from purple, red, pink, and white.
Each year, the crape myrtles are often cut back ostensibly to allow for new growth over the next season, often referred to as crape murder. However, this notion that only new growth bears flowers is false though new growth does produce more flowers than established growth. Crape myrtles can at times be pruned in order to help shape the tree and get rid of unwanted or unsightly growth.
Cutting crape myrtles back too far can be detrimental because it prevents the trees from forming mottled bark on mature trunks that some people find beautiful. It also creates multiple skinny, whip-like shoot sprouts from the end of the stump that remains from the previous season. These whip-like shoots can become too weak to hold up the flowers, often causing the branches bend to the ground.
A great thing about these Crape Myrtle blossoms is that they attract bees.
The common crape myrtle (L. indica) from China and Korea was introduced circa 1790 to Charleston, South Carolina, in the United States by the French botanist André Michaux. In the wild, the species is most often found as a multistemmed large shrub, but 200 years of cultivation have resulted in a huge number of cultivars of widely varying characteristics.
Today, crape myrtle varieties can fulfill many landscaping needs, from tidy street trees to dense barrier hedges to fast-growing dwarf types of less than 60 cm (2 ft), which can go from seed to bloom in a season (allowing gardeners in places where the plant is not winter-hardy to still enjoy the intense colors of the frilly flowers). In Europe, crape myrtle is common in the south of France, the Iberian Peninsula, and most of Italy; in the United States, it is an iconic plant of gardens across the southern United States.