Friday, July 5, 2013

Flora of Eagle Rock: crape myrtle

Crape myrtle, or lagerstroemia on La Roda
The crape myrtle, or lagerstroemia (for Magnus Lagerström, a Swedish naturalist), is a genus containing many species of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs native to the Indian Subcontinent, southeast Asia, northern Australia and parts of Oceania.  The tree is pretty common in Eagle Rock.  You can identify it by the unusual bark, which looks as if an outer covering has peeled off, leaving exposed a smooth, pale wood.  The crape myrtle has a long-lasting flower; the species prevalent in Eagle Rock tends to have a deep pink or magenta flower (as pictured below).  They're in bloom right now throughout the neighborhood.

Lagerstroemia in bloom with the hills of Eagle Rock Hillside Park in the background

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