Catawba Crape Myrtle in June

Crape Myrtle and lilies

A native of India and Southeast Asia, the Crape Myrtle tree has spread to all parts of the milder climate areas of the world. It was brought to America in 1790 and planted at Middleton Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina. Since that time, many varieties have been created, and can be found in deep red, pink, and white forms. Driving along I-77 between Charlotte and Statesville, North Carolina, I was impressed by a very large collection of trees lining both sides of the roadway at a Rest Plaza, and had to stop to capture the beauty of these pink blossomed giants.

Crape Myrtle Trees

This particular variety is known as Catawba Pink Velour Crape Myrtle. These are the largest Crape Myrtle trees I’ve ever seen.
Crape Myrtle Forest

Crape Myrtle and Red Cedar

This segment of I-77 was completed around 1977, so these trees must be over thirty-five years old. Careful pruning and shaping by a dilligent maintainence crew has created these wonderful specimens.

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