Most people only look at crape myrtle trees in the summer, when they are in their glory blooming. And that is a fine time to stop and stare at the beautiful adornment of their delicate yet numerous flowers. But if that is the only time you look at Lagerstroemia x fauriei 'Natchez', you are missing out on one of its most spectacular qualities. You see, 'Natchez' is an eye-catcher whether in summer bloom (its blooms are white) or its naked winter splendor.
Look a little closer and you will see it's beautiful, cinnamon colored bark:
Starting out gray, the bark peels like a snake that has outgrown its skin:
Some people wonder if the tree has a disease. And I admit, the shed bark does look a little odd until it is blown away by the wind:
But when it has completed its peel, the smooth branches are as beautiful as a butterfly that has emerged from its cocoon:
I have six of these trees. Here are three of these glorious beauties:
'Natchez' is the only crape myrtle with this unusual feature. The rest of the crapes, as far as I know, have regular gray tree bark that does not peel. They must be so jealous.