Queen of flowers


Queen of flowers, or Queen’s crape-myrtle, is native to southern China and from India to northern Australia. In its native distribution it reaches a height of 100 feet, with a trunk 4 feet in diameter. The leaves are simple and up to 1 foot long. Flowers are up to 2.5 inches in diameter and are violet or pink, depending on the variety. Fruits are up to 1 inch long and open in five parts to liberate many winged seeds. It flowers from the end of winter to summer, and produces fruits from fall to the following summer. The generic name honors the Swedish merchant and naturalist Magnus von Lagerstroem (1696-1759). The species name means showy, beautiful.

The photographed tree is at the main student parking lot. There are several other trees in the campus; for example, east of the Chardón Building, north of Building B, near the guard’s cabin at the Center for Research and Development, and in front of and east of the Celis Building; the latter tree was planted by Henry Cowles and Severo Vélez around 1942.

Lagerstroemia speciosa (Lythraceae)