21 Best Crepe Myrtle Varieties To Enliven Your Landscape

Crepe myrtles are an excellent option for warmer areas in the United States due to their stunning summer blooms and varied forms as both shrubs and trees. Cultivating them brings great satisfaction.

In our rundown of the finest selections, we’ve included dwarf varieties, short and long flowering periods, and all manner of bloom colors to ensure you’ll find the best type for your garden space.

Take a look at these 21 beauties!

Learn all about the beautiful crepe myrtle, including its key features, care and maintenance tips, diseases and pests, propagation, companion planting, and more in my detailed Crepe Myrtle Guide.

1. Natchez Crepe Myrtle

A close look at the flower of a Natchez crepe myrtle tree.

One of the taller crepe myrtle varieties, Natchez can stand at a towering 30 feet tall and 15-25 feet wide at maturity.

This one grows fast too, gaining around 3-5 feet each year, which is ideal if you’re in desperate need of a shade screen!

The Natchez delights with large clusters of pristine-white flowers that can bloom for up to four months (sometimes longer with well-timed flower pruning).

In the fall, the leaves transform to a beautiful yellow and fiery orange, and at maturity, watch the smooth cinnamon-red bark shed at the end of each season to reveal a cloudy tan-colored bark beneath.

I recommend purchasing Natchez from this nursery, known for its healthy trees and excellent customer satisfaction.

2. Dynamite Crepe Myrtle

The bright-red blooms of a Dynamite crepe myrtle tree.

Dynamite by name and nature, this glorious crepe myrtle was designed by renowned plant breeder Dr. Carl Whitcomb and was the first true-red variety to exist.

It bursts with plumes of small and bright cherry-red flowers, enjoying a bloom season of midsummer to early fall.

Dynamite grows up to 10-15 feet tall and 12 feet wide and is an incredibly hardy variety, withstanding temperature dips of up to -50ºF.

This tree prefers full sun to come into its own, and long exposure to overcast weather will see the gorgeous blooms fade.

3. Tuscarora Crepe Myrtle

Tuscarora grows up to 20 feet high and wide and displays vigorous, dense growth, forming an umbrella habit and a distinctive vase shaping beneath as the base tends to bulge.

Its vivid coral blossoms enjoy a marvelous blooming period from spring to early fall, turning reddish-pink in summer with deep-green foliage that transforms into a blazing dark orange in fall.

Tuscarora’s bark is also of interest with its mottled-brown base with shades of gray, tan, and cinnamon.

4. Muskogee Crepe Myrtle

Perfect for a privacy screen or as a focal point in your landscape, the fan-shaped Muskogee crepe myrtle reaches between 20 and 30 feet tall, and even when pruned back in spring, they can vigorously re-sprout to a height of 6-10 feet by fall!

The blooms, which appear in spring and last for a whopping 4-5 months, are a beautifully delicate shade of lilac that pops wonderfully against the glossy light-gray bark.

Muskogee is a very tough specimen with great mildew resistance and hardiness to winters in Grow Zone 6.

5. Catawba Crepe Myrtle

The purple blooms of a Catawba crepe myrtle tree.

With a mature height of 8-10 feet tall and a wide fan spread of up to 15 feet, the Catawba variety makes an excellent informal hedge tree or screening plant.

Short but no less sweet, Catawba teems with large rich-purple flowers from July to September set among dark-green glossy leaves.

In fall, watch the foliage take on vivid orange and dark-red tones, which look superb in contrast with its exfoliating patchwork bark of gray and cinnamon brown.

6. Sioux Crepe Myrtle

An up-close look at the blooms of a Sioux crepe myrtle.

Sioux crepe myrtles grow 15-20 feet, tall but thanks to their narrow, upright structure, these can be a great pick for smaller gardens.

Around July, this variety sends out a flush of soft, almost pastel-pink blooms that change to more vivid red and purple tones throughout the season until September.

The lush, green foliage takes on a beautiful bronze tint just as the flowers fade before turning orange-red throughout the fall.

Sioux’s upright form lets you appreciate its beautiful exfoliating bark with marbled shades of grayish brown.

7. Tonto Crepe Myrtle

Fuchsia blooms of a Tonto crepe myrtle tree.

A fairly recent introduction to the crepe myrtle family, this 1995 semi-dwarf variety grows between 8 and 10 feet tall with a multi-stemmed, upright habit, making them perfect in tight garden spaces.

The Tonto packs a punch with vibrant fuchsia-pink blossoms which bloom from midsummer to early fall.

These flowers take on a stunning maroon-red color by fall while Tonto’s dark-green leaves transform into red and purple shades.

Another intriguing feature is the bark that stands out in the landscape with its creamy beige shades that are decidedly lighter compared with many other crepe myrtles.

Find healthy Tonto crepe myrtles at low prices here.

8. Red Rocket Crepe Myrtle

Named for both its knockout blooms and speedy growth, the Red Rocket crepe myrtle soars more than 5 feet each year, attaining its mature height of around 20-30 feet in just a few years!

From midsummer to early fall, it’ll produce plumes of deep lipstick-red flowers that branch in an upright form to make a great privacy screen when grouped.

Red Rocket was also designed with improved drought and disease resistance compared with other varieties and is built to withstand the cooler climates of Zone 6.

9. Arapaho Crepe Myrtle

Only released in 2003, this relatively rare crepe myrtle variety boasts a show of true red (not dark pink) blossoms that bloom from July to September.

Coupled with its upright form and mature height of up to 20 feet, the Arapaho is ideal as a background specimen in gardens.

The rounded dark-green leaves turn a lovely coppery-bronze shade in spring before reddening in the fall. Arapaho was also designed with excellent resistance to powdery mildew compared with other varieties.

10. Zuni Crepe Myrtle

Zuni is a pretty and relatively compact crepe myrtle with vase shape growth spreading between 6 and 10 feet tall and wide.

The canopy has an airy, feathery quality to it with leaves of deep, glossy green that sport shiny reddish edges in spring and vibrant orange and maroon shades in fall.

From midsummer to early fall, Zuni is awash with long clusters of rich lavender blossoms which seem to almost glow in the sunlight!

This variety has excellent mildew resistance and looks equally attractive as a focal specimen tree or when planted beside small shrubs and groundcover plants.

11. Twilight Crepe Myrtle

One of the larger crepe myrtle varieties, Twilight grows up to 25 feet tall with a spread of 10-15 feet. It grows naturally as a large, multi-stemmed shrub but can be trained into a stunning tree-like structure.

Its deep-purple night-sky-like blossoms bloom from June to early frost and are the darkest purple flowers of any crepe myrtle.

The oval-shaped leaves have a nice rich coloring too, turning orange, yellow, and deep burgundy in fall before dropping to reveal the light-pink and reddish-brown inner bark peeking from the peeling gray layer.

Shop Twilight Crepe Myrtles here.

12. Pink Velour Crepe Myrtle

Close-up look at a single bloom of a Pink Velour crepe myrtle.

If you’re looking for a true pink crepe myrtle in your landscape Dr. Whitcomb’s Pink Velour hybrid is the way to go.

This semi-dwarf variety has a mature height of 10-12 feet and a width of 2-6 feet and sports beaming fuchsia-pink flowers from July to September.

Making the blossoms truly pop is Pink Velour’s intriguing foliage, which starts maroon before changing to a dusky green-purplish shade throughout the seasons.

Plant this stunner in full sun to get the best out of the blooms. You’ll find great deals and occasional sales here.

13. Acoma Crepe Myrtle

Acoma crepe myrtles take their time, only growing around 1foot per year, but this gives you time to watch this majestic shrub-like tree mature.

Acomas can reach a maximum height and spread of up to 10-15 feet, sending out graceful arching branches of drooping, snowy-white blossoms.

These flowers bloom from June to September, just long enough to enjoy the stunning contrast of the white set against the changing fall foliage of reddish-purple.

14. Centennial Spirit Crepe Myrtle

Brillian red flowers at the tip of a crepe myrtle branch.

Another slow-growing crepe myrtle, the Centennial Spirit attains its mature height and spread of 20 feet in roughly 10 years and sends out large profuse blooms of red from June to October.

Flowers will develop a rose-red quality in cooler summers or rich, ruby-red tones in hotter climates.

The thick, leathery foliage also stuns with striking fall colors of yellow, bright orange, and red, and the young gray bark peels to reveal an attractive tan and taupe color beneath.

15. Hopi Crepe Myrtle

This vibrant mid-sized shrub is like a welcoming bouquet in your front lawn or garden space with a fan-like habit and spread of 10 feet with a max height of 7-8 feet.

Hopi is covered in large clusters of bright-pink blooms from midsummer to fall with bushy deep-green foliage that transforms to orange, red, and gold.

Hopi is also one of the most cold-hardy crepe myrtles with tolerance to sheltered spots in Zone 5. It has been bred with excellent resistance to drought, heat, and powdery mildew.

16. Tuskegee Crepe Myrtle

An up-close look at the blooms of Tuskegee crepe myrtle.

Great as a small ornamental tree or larger privacy screen, the Tuskegee crepe myrtle grows to a mature size of 18-25 feet tall and wide.

This broad variety sends out bold flowers of dark rose pink with dark red overtones, covering the branches from early summer through to early fall.

The vibrant blooms are nicely contrasted with its slender trunks of cinnamon-colored bark that exfoliate to reveal a shiny gray inner bark.

Plant this crepe myrtle in rows to create a wonderfully colorful privacy hedge!

17. Pocomoke Crepe Myrtle

Pink flowers of a Pocomoke dwarf crepe myrtle.

This compact and mounding dwarf crepe myrtle variety is ideal for container gardens or for planting together to form a small flowering hedge.

Pocomoke has a mature height and spread of 3-5 feet and requires no pruning to look good.

Mini but mighty, this shrub bursts with bright rose-pink blossoms from mid to late summer set against glossy dark-green leaves that emerge maroon and turn bronze-like in fall.

18. Basham’s Party Pink Crepe Myrtle

Said to be the fastest-growing crepe myrtle variety, it’s not unheard of for Basham’s Party Pink to grow a whopping 12-15 feet per year, so be sure to plan to accommodate its maximum height of 30 feet and a maximum spread of 20+ feet!

This elegant crepe myrtle has a fully upright habit, adorned with pale-pink to lavender blossoms from spring to early summer and orange-red leaves in fall.

Note that this variety isn’t very cold hardy, and planting is not advised in upper or mid-south regions.

19. Watermelon Red Crepe Myrtle

Watermelon Red crepe myrtle blooming against a blue sky.

This cheerful crepe myrtle variety has a wide, rounded crown smothered in foot-long trusses of blossoms in the shade of reddish-pink watermelon flesh.

These delightful flowers stay vibrant from midsummer to fall, when the foliage takes over with a color display of yellow-orange.

Watermelon Red will approach 25 feet tall with a 20-foot spread and has excellent tolerance to heat, drought, and poor soils.

20. Black Diamond Red Hot Crepe Myrtle

From spring right through to fall, this dark and brooding variety produces masses of chili-red blossoms, standing out even further against its dramatic blackish-purple foliage.

Unlike the classic crepe myrtle shaping, the Black Diamond has a slender and upright vase-like form, reaching 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide.

If you prefer a slightly smaller tree, it can be pruned back for a slimmer and shorter look. Plant them in rows to form a head-turning privacy hedge, or use it as a specimen tree.

21. Osage Crepe Myrtle

The pink blooms of Osage crepe myrtle.

Osage cuts a very graceful figure with its arching weeping form and small clusters of delicate blooms which range from peach to pale-pink, yellow, and lilac. Blooms appear from mid to late summer, followed by a show of burgundy-red leaves in fall.

This variety sports a warm chestnut-brown bark and grows to be 15-20ft tall and wide.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, crepe myrtle trees and shrubs come in various colors and forms to suit every landscape style, whether you’re after a pretty filler shrub or want to make a bold statement with gargantuan specimens like Red Rocket or Natchez!

Each crepe myrtle variety has its own set of growing preferences from different sun/shade requirements to temperature tolerances, so be sure to choose the best type for your Grow Zone to get the best from the blooms.