Great Design Plant: Crepe Myrtle
Crepe myrtle is a deciduous tree that will do something pretty every day of the year. In the heat of summer, its flowers bloom in richly colored, bouquet-sized clusters. In fall, the leaves turn yellow, orange, and red. In winter, leafless trees reveal brown and pink bark that is sometimes so smooth it gleams.
Botanical name: Lagerstroemia indicaCommon name: Crepe myrtleUSDA zones: 7-9Water requirement: ModerateLight requirement: Full sunMature size: Up to 25 feet tall, and 25 feet wide -- pruning keeps it much smallerTolerances: Takes heat but not cool, damp summers -- which encourages mildew of foliage and flowers.