You know summer is here when the Crepe Myrtles begin to flower. First up this year is ‘Sioux’, one of the smaller growing of the new ‘Indian Summer’ hybrids. ‘Sioux’ has clear, strong pink coloured flowers.
Like other Crepe Myrtles, Sioux has good Autumn colour. An added bonus is that the foliage of Sioux is bronzey when young, giving the tree a lustrous look. Sioux forms a small, dense tree, up to about 4m at maturity.
Sioux is truly a ‘four seasons’ tree. In winter, mature trees develop smooth, salmon coloured bark.The ‘Indian Summer’ range of Crepe Myrtles are derived from crossing Lagerstroemia fauriei, the Japanese Crepe Myrtle with Lagerstreomia indica, the Korean Crepe Myrtle . The Japanese name for this tree is saru suberi (literally “monkey slip”) which refers to the smooth, slippery bark. The ‘Indian Summer’ range of Crepe Myrtles are superior to the species in their mildew resistance.
Crepe Myrtles are becoming increasingly popular in Australia, especially where drought-tolerance is a key criteria for tree selection. They thrive in hot, sunny positions, though they will tolerate light shade. In fact there is a fine specimen opposite our Kew site which is under a large deciduous tree.
Crepe Myrtles can either be multi-trunked, or, when pruned accordingly, grown as single-trunk specimens.