Lagerstroemia is a genus of about 40 species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs and trees from warm-temperate to tropical areas of Asia to Australia. They are grown for their very showy, lovely summer to fall bloom. In warmer areas many can be grown as trees but in colder climates they may be killed to the ground but resprout from below ground to be grown more as shrubs.
Genus name honors Magnus von Lagerstroem (1691-1759), Swedish botanist, Director of the Swedish East Indies Company and friend of Linnaeus.
Common name is in reference to the crepe-papery inflorescences and the myrtle-like (Myrtus communis) features of the bark and foliage.
‘Natchez’ is a cross between L. indica and L. fauriei. It is one of several mildew resistant hybrids developed by the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., all of which have been given the names of Native American tribes. It is a deciduous, upright, spreading, multi-stemmed shrub. Features dark green foliage turning orange to red in fall, dark cinnamon brown bark which exfoliates with age and terminal, crepe-papery, inflorescences (panicles) of white flowers from mid-summer to early fall. Flowers give way to round seed capsules which often persist well into winter.