The Crepe Myrtle tree (Lagerstroemia sp.) in our garden is in full bloom this week. Lagerstroemia is a genus of 50 species that are native to Asia and Oceania. They are a common ornamental in Osaka with trees in parks and gardens all over. It is nice to have a late blooming ornamental and have flowers in late September. It is like a last gasp of summer!
The bark is really nice too, peeling like a Eucalypt. It is a common tree in the American south, as the hybrids are hardy, does well in tight spaces and they are beautiful. They were brought to America by a French botanist and this Asian species is now a signature plant of the south east USA. Osaka is most similar to the city of Atlanta because of the azaleias and other southern plants that thrive here.
The genus is named after a Dutch friend of Carl Linnaeus who supplied him plants. It is a bush or small three here in Osaka.