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lagerstroemia

Plant of the Day - Lagerstroemia 'Gamad V' (Dazzle Me Pink)

Masses of frothy pink flowers cover the plant like cotton candy. Few plants brighten the southern landscape like crepe myrtles.  Dwarf selections have become increasingly popular in recent years.  Like many groups of plants there are some good ones and some that should be tossed on the compost pile.  Lagerstroemia 'Gamad V', known by the terrible trade name Dazzle Me Pink, is one that I've been impressed with in recent years.  Flowers open with bubble-gum pink petals surrounding gold stamens before fading to near white.  It flowers heavily starting in mid-summer and will continue until fall especially if spent flowers are removed.  'Gamad V' forms a small shrub, 3'-4' tall by 4'-5' wide in 10 years.  The multi-stemmed shrub gets great fall color in vivid shades of orange and gold.  The mildew resistance is pretty good on this introduction if planted in a sunny spot with good air circulation.

Follow me at @jcramark because life is too short for boring plants.

'Gamad V' makes a very uniform shrub, attractive in all seasons.

Check out all the happenings at http://www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum

Pic of the Day - Lagerstroemia indica 'Red Filli'

'Red Filli' makes a great flowering shrub. The late Fleming brothers had a serious case of zone denial - in the frozen tundra of Nebraska they bred hibiscus and crepe myrtles.  Their primary goal of course was increased hardiness.  This selection of crepe myrtle, Lagerstroemia indica 'Red Filli', is about as hardy as you can get in the genus.  Reports from up north say this plant is hardy as a die-back shrub to zone 4.  I'm betting that is with a whole lot of mulch.  We were also told that it would grow like a ground cover 18" tall by 36" or more wide.  It may grow like that in Nebraska but here in crepe myrtle country at the JC Raulston Arboretum, it is forming a small, multi-stemmed shrub.  In the 5 years we've been growing it, 'Red Filli' has become a 4' shrub that begins flowering early with big clusters of bright pink flowers.  The foliage is tinged purple and deepens to plum with red highlights in fall.  So far, it has been fairly mildew resistant.  It is exceptionally long blooming, starting as early as the beginning of June and lasting through September for a flower show that covers a full third of the year.  We're not sure quite how large it will ultimately grow for us, but if treated as a cut-back shrub it should stay in the 4' range although it will not flower until mid-July.  Full sun and average soil.

Follow me at @jcramark because life is too short for boring plants.

Although not really red, the bright pink flowers are showy.