Lagerstroemia speciosa; Synonym: L. flos-reginae
Family: Belongs to the Lythraceae family, of mostly tropical herbs and the occasional shrub or tree, and includes the Cigar Flower (Cuphea ignea) and the dye producing Henna plant (Lawsonia inermis)
Description: Fast-growing, medium-sized, spreading, deciduous tree, up to 15 m high or more (50 ft); bark peeling; leaves simple, ovate up to about 20 cm long (8 in) and 10 cm broad (4 in); one of the most strikingly showy of flowering trees, commonly cultivated in gardens for its brightly colored mauve or pink flowers with crinkled petals, born in large, terminal, conical panicles, 30 cm long (12 in), from April to July; pink variety is especially attractive; fruit a round, brown, woody capsule, up to 2.5 cm across (1 in); seeds elongated and winged.
Natural Habitat: Will thrive in full sun on well drained soils in tropics and sub-tropics; propagation by cuttings, root suckers or seed; seedlings flower in 2 years
Origin and Distribution: Native to India, Australia & S.E. Asia; distributed variously throughout tropics and sub-tropics.