Thank you again to Eric La Fountaine for today’s write-up and photograph!
The peeling bark of the Lagerstroemia fauriei growing at the front entrance of the garden provides winter interest when few plants are blooming. Crepe myrtles are popular landscape trees in warmer areas of North America, but the commonly planted Lagerstroemia indica selections and their hybrids with Lagerstroemia fauriei are poor performers in our cool maritime climate. Fortunately, Yakushima crepe myrtle thrives in our region. While not as showy in bloom as Lagerstroemia indica, the small white flowers are borne on graceful terminal panicles and release a lovely fragrance.
A rare tree in its native habitat, the island of Yakushima in southern Japan, Lagerstroemia fauriei can reach a height of 10 metres, but in our garden it is slow growing, eventually forming a slender, multistemmed, open-branched tree of 5 to 8 m tall.
Lagerstroemia fauriei is featured in The Jade Garden – New and Notable Plants from Asia written by three of UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research’s curators: Peter Wharton, Brent Hine and Douglas Justice.