Lavender Lace™ Black Diamond® Crape MyrtleLagerstroemia hybrid `CS2012-12` (PP# 27,335)
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Lagerstroemia hybrid `CS2012-12` (PP# 27,335)
Outdoor Growing zone
The Lavender Lace™ Black Diamond® Crape Myrtle is a striking deciduous shrub, with cool, elegant flowers from mid-June to the first frost, in a wonderful shade of lavender purple. Their color is enhanced by being placed against foliage that is a complex mix of very deep green and bronzy purple, which stays dark and moody all summer. This unique color combination is perfect for sophisticated plantings, in beds, around your home or as a striking screen. It grows about 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide, if not trimmed.
Plant the Lavender Lace™ Black Diamond® Crape Myrtle in full sun for the most blooms and the richest foliage colors. Grow it in any well-drained soil, including dry, sandy locations and urban soils. It has excellent disease resistance, it is normally free of insect pests, and deer generally ignore it. A simple trim in late winter will keep it always bushy and allow you to control the height where a shorter plant is needed.
One of the secrets of a charming garden is blending colors. You can do that with obvious contrasts, like purple and yellow, or red and white, as you might do with annual flowers in a bed. For your shrubs, though, and for more subtle moods, we need to find more complex combinations. Crape myrtles are usually known for bright, strong colors, which we love, but we also really adore the wonderful combination of soft lavender-purple blooms with foliage that is a complex blend of dark purple, rusty red and very dark green. We found this sophisticated look in the Lavender Lace™ Black Diamond® Crape Myrtle, whose flowers have crinkled lacy petals, and whose colors will bring your garden to a whole new level of color complexity. This sturdy bush will grow to about 12 feet if left untrimmed or smaller, rounded and bushy if you give it a harder annual pruning. It blooms continuously from mid-June to the first frost, which in warmer zones can mean flowers late into November.
This plant is a deciduous shrub that will quickly grow to 10 or 12 feet in height, with a spread of 6 to 8 feet. The strong upright branches carry leaves all along them, making a dense, bushy plant. Those leaves are rounded and cupped, with smooth edges and a lustrous surface. A little more than 2 inches long, and just ¾ of an inch wide, the leaves are a unique rich color that is very dark, made up of a deep green overlaid with bronzy purple, creating a very rich, almost black effect.
The first blooms open in mid-June in most areas, and flowering continues throughout the summer until frost. Every branch ends in a dense cluster of almost 20 blooms, each one 1½ inches across, with ruffled, lacy petals that have a ‘crepe paper’ texture. A cluster is in flower for about a week, quickly followed by more blooms on new clusters that develop on side branches. The color is a sophisticated lavender purple, bright and clear, with a calm and elegant tone.
Wherever you need rich foliage color and striking flowers, then plant this reliable shrub. It can be grown around your home or out in beds, as specimens or in group plantings where larger areas must be filled. Even before blooming begins the foliage color is powerful and yet refined, and it makes the perfect backdrop to the flowers, which soon appear. Grow it as an informal hedge or screen, where the height can be controlled by an annual trimming. Plant 4 to 5 feet apart for dense, continuous rows or clusters.
Completely hardy from zone 7 to zone 10, the Lavender Lace Black Diamond Crape Myrtle will reach its full size in those areas. If you live in zone 6, then this plant can be grown as a smaller shrub. The branches will be killed to the ground, but the roots are hardy, and they will soon re-sprout in spring. Typically, an established plant will grow at least 3 feet tall, or even more, flowering profusely at the ends of every branch.
Grow the Lavender Lace Black Diamond Crape Myrtle in full sun – even a little shade each day will noticeably reduce flowering. Since it grows well even in poor, dry and sandy soils, full sun is never a problem, and once established – water regularly during the first season – it is very drought resistant. Any well-drained soil is acceptable but avoid wet soils and sticky clays.
This plant has been developed to be resistant to both powdery mildew and leaf spot, so the lustrous finish and rich color of the leaves remains all summer, without blemishes or yellowing. Insect pests are rarely problems with such a vigorous plant, and deer normally leave it alone. No particular care is needed, but we recommend removing spent flower heads as soon as the last blooms fade on them, as this will encourage the maximum amount of re-blooming. In late winter, trim back the branches as needed, depending on the height required. Light pruning will give the most natural and largest plant, while harder pruning will make a dense, very bushy plant that will be perhaps 6 feet tall. Do not trim in summer, as this will reduce blooming.
After the discovery of the very first dark-leaf crape myrtle, ‘Chocolate Mocha’, in 2005, several other plants with dark leaves were developed. The plant breeder James Berry collected many of them together at his nursery, Capstone Plants, in Grand Saline, Texas. He planted them all together, and then collected a large quantity of seed from them all. Mixing this all together he grew many seedlings. In 2014 he found among them one that stood out for its excellent foliage and unique lavender flowers. He named it ‘CS2012-12` and patented it in 2016. J. Berry Nursery has added it to their Black Diamond® series of dark-leaf crape myrtles, as the variety Lavender Lace™.
For us, this is the most sophisticated and elegant of all the crape myrtles, and its compact bushy form makes it ideal for even smaller gardens. The striking but cool coloring is very different from the tropical look of many crape myrtles, and for that reason we know it is going to be very popular. Stocks are limited, so order now, before they are all gone.