Crape Myrtle

Lagerstroemia indica

Lythraceae

Location in our garden

Section A (Principal)

Habitus

Shrubs. A deciduous shrub or small tree with an upright branches, perennial, vase-shaped crown, grow from 3 - 8 m tall. 

Part Used

  • Leaves
  • Bark
  • Flowers
  • Roots

Growing Requirements

  • Full Sunshine

Habitat

  • Riverbanks
  • Forest
  • Shrublands
  • Grassland

Overview

Crepe myrtle is native from the Himalayas through southern China, South-East Asia and Japan, but has naturalised in the U.S. The plant is found growing in gardens, yards, public parks, buffer strips around parking lots, along highways, grasslands, along rivers, in disturbed or secondary forest.
 

Vernacular Names

Pan-ei (Burmese), Tzu hui (Chinese), Lagerstroemia (Ducth), Lilas d'été (French), Kreppmyrte (German), Sarusuberi (Japanese), Bae long na mu (Korean), Bungur kecil (Malay), Melendres (Tagalog-Philippines), Dta baek (Thai).
 

Agroecology

A plant of the warm temperate zone, but is widely cultivated from the temperate zone to the tropics. It is commonly planted in gardens, yards, public parks, buffer strips around parking lots, and along highways. Dormant plants are hardy to about -10 °C if the wood is well ripened. It requires a very hot and humid summers to do well. Succeeds in most well-drained soils in a sunny sheltered position, in soils low in nutrients and dislikes very alkaline soils.
 

Morphology

  • Roots - tap root with a lot of lateral roots.
  • Stems -  branches are slender, 4-angled, and narrowly winged, puberulous, glabrescent.
  • Leaves - entire, stalkless, obovate, ellipticovate to oblong-ovate, 4 to 8 cm long.
  • Flowers - white, pink or purplish, about 4 cm in diameter, borne on small, terminal panicles. Capsules are globose-ovoid, about 1 cm long.
  • Seeds - including wing approximately 8 mm.

Chemical Constituents

  • Brevifolin, decarboxy ellagic acid, polyphenolics, tellimagrandin, nilocitin, astralagi, terpenoids, tannins, deoxysugars, saponins, phenolic, compounds, and flavonoids.
  • Biocolorants isolated from the fruits were found to be quercetin and apigenin.

Traditional Medicinal Uses

  • The root is astringent, detoxicant, and diuretic.
  • The stem bark is febrifuge, stimulant, and styptic.
  • Prevent cancer cells growth, maintain bones health, beneficial for constipation, overcome inflammation, stroke, diabetes, coughing up blood, toothache, diarrhoea, and kidney stone.
  • Works as antivirus, prevent premature aging, antidote for high blood pressure level, cure for urinary conditions, avoid thrombus, prevent heart attack, prevent arteriosclerosis disease, decrease the level of blood cholesterol, maintain skin health, release toxic from the body.
  • A paste of the flowers is applied externally to cuts and wounds.
  • A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of colds.
  • In India, decoction of roots considered astringent, used as gargle.
  • Roots, leaves, and flowers are purgative.
     

Cultivation

  • By seeds - best sown as soon as it is ripe. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until large enough to plant out.
  • Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5-8 cm with a heel. fair to good percentage.
  • Root cuttings 4 cm long. High percentage.
     

Snapshot of Part Used

Reference Sources

  1. CABI. 2014. Lagerstroemia indica (Indian crape myrtle). https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/29669. 2112-2020
  2. Health Benefit Times Database. Crape Myrtle . Lagerstroemia indica. https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/crepe-mrytle/. 29-07-2020
  3. Kern Fern. 2014. Useful Tropical Plants Database. Crape Myrtle. Lagerstroemia indica. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Lagerstroemia+indica. 29-07-2020
  4. Missouri Botanical Garden. (No date). Lagerstroemia indica. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=282496. 21-122020
  5. Philippine Medicinal Plants Database. Crape Myrtle . Lagerstroemia indica. http://www.stuartxchange.com/Melendres.html.  29-07-2020