Lagerstroemia 'PINK VELOUR'®

Lagerstroemia
Lagerstroemia 'PINK VELOUR'®
crape myrtle
SIZE/TYPE medium-sized shrub
USUAL HEIGHT 1.5-3m
USUAL WIDTH 1-1.5m
LEAVES deciduous broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES varigated:burgundy red a green
FLOWERS showy
COLOUR OF FLOWERS deep pink
BLOOMING TIME July - September
LOCATION full sun
USDA zone (lowest) 6b   (down to -21°C)
WINTER PROTECTION  
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Deciduous broadleaf
Summer blooms
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Crape myrtle is a flowering shrub or small tree from China. It was first introduced to the USA and the UK in the 18th century. The original plant lagerstroemia indica is too tender and not too pretty so breeders were working on further hybridization and the most attractive varieties available now are believed to be results of crossing with l.speciosa and l.fauriei. Far more important news for us is the fact that among those finished plants were selected others that survived lower temperatures than what was common in the areas of natural habitat so we have a few myrtles that can grow even in our climate. Some were selections, other further hybrids.

Pink Velour® is a very attractive crape myrtle with upright panicles of pink-red to purple red flowers with crepe margins and rich yellow stamens in the centre. It starts flowering earlier than the species which makes it suitable for colder regions where the summer begins a little later. The inflorescence keeps on producing new flowers buds until the first frosts. Another important feature is foliage. The deciduous leaves of Pink Velour® are leathery, oval, and deep burgundy red for many weeks after they emerge, only then turning deep green leaving a burgundy red margin.

Leaves of lagerstroemias change to various shades of yellow, orange and red in autumn. When they fall down older plants reveal flaking-off bark, similar to what plane trees or stewartias do, leaving a mosaic pattern on the smooth trunks.

Pink Velour® was selected among 65,000 seedlings by Carl E.Whitcomb from Oklahoma, USA, in 1996 and patented 2 years later under the name Whit III, patent No. PP10,319. Its original name Royal Velvet® changed to Pink Velour® in 1999 which is used commercially ever since. The achievement was gained thanks to EMS (ethylmethane sulfonic acid methyl ester) which is a substance known for causing mutation when seeds are treated with it.

Crape myrtle needs little care. They need full sun with zero shade during the day. Pruning will secure flowering: cut back last year's growth to about a third of its original size. Do so in spring after danger of frosts. The plant will make strong news shoots that will bear flowers. Grow in well-drained soil that should be kept moist before it gets fully established. Some sources say that plants do well in slightly acidic soil but as far as it is not water-logged they will grow in any fertile soil. It needs heavy mulching in winter and some mulch in summer to retain moisture. Overfertilizing will cause excessive growth but no flowers. Experienced hardiness with no injury is -21°C (USDA zone 6b). At -25°C the plant was killed to ground but quickly re-grew and yet produced flowers (in zone 7).

Last update: 29-12-2009
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GLOSSARY
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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