Select Crape Myrtles by Color & Variety

by Elmer Krehbiel, Master Gardener
June 25, 2004

Now is probably the best season of the year to select crape myrtle shrubs according to the color of their flowers. Most gardeners prefer a certain color, shape, mature size, and disease resistance. Since crape myrtle shrubs are relatively easy to start, many can be selected and successfully transplanted into the landscape during their flowering season. However, you should mulch the soil around them and apply water as needed to prevent wilting.

Crape myrtles have been used in Central Texas landscapes since the pioneer days, and the Brazos Valley is the Crape Myrtle County Capitol of Texas. Even today, local gardeners prefer them for their summer colors.

Plant breeders continue to develop new varieties that are more disease and insect resistant and more attractive.

Crape myrtle plants are available in several shapes and many sizes from 18 inches to 40 feet tall. The flower colors vary from white, pink, red, to maroon, and lavender to purple. During recent years, more varieties have been developed.

Varieties & Flower Color

Weeping-miniature crape myrtle (18-24 inches):

  • Delta Blush pink
  • Bayou Marie bi-colored pink
  • Bourbon Street watermelon-red
  • Baton Rouge deep red
  • New Orleans purple
  • Cordon Bleu lavender
  • Lafayette light lavender

These should be suitable for five- gallon containers.

Dwarf crape myrtle (3-4 feet):

  • Hope white
  • Pocomoke pink
  • Tightwad red
  • Victor dark red
  • Okmulgee red-maroon
  • Chickasaw purplish-pink
  • Centennial purple
  • Ozark lavender

These should be suitable for 10-gallon containers.

Medium crape myrtle (5-10 feet):

  • Acoma white
  • Prairie Lace pink-white
  • Caddo; Hopi; Pecos; Seminole; Potomac pink
  • Cherokee; Tonto red
  • Velmas Royal purplish-red
  • Zuni lavender

Large crape myrtle (10 to 20 feet):

  • Near East light pink
  • Comanche coral-pink
  • Osage; Potomac clear pink
  • Pink pink
  • Royal Velvet bright pink
  • Sioux vibrant pink
  • Seminole medium pink
  • Tuskegee dark pink
  • William Toovey pink-red
  • Raspberry Sundae pinkish-red/white
  • Cherokee soft red
  • Dallas Red bright red
  • Centennial Spirit; Regal Red dark red
  • Catawba violet-purple
  • Purple light purple
  • Powhatan medium purple
  • Conestoga pale lavender
  • Apalachee light lavender
  • Lipan; Yuma medium lavender

Largest crape myrtle (20 feet or more):

  • Fantasy; Kiowa; Natchez; Townhouse white
  • Byers Wonderful White clear white
  • Biloxi pale pink
  • Choctaw bright pink
  • Miami; Tuscarora dark pink
  • Byers Standard Red soft red
  • Red Rocket bright red
  • Dynamite cherry red
  • Carolina Beauty dark red
  • Bashams Party Pink; Muskogee light lavender
  • Hardy Lavender medium lavender
  • Wichita lavender

More on Crape Myrtles

Dr. Elmer Krehbiel is the former President of Keep Brazos Beautiful. See his column in The Eagle.