Lagerstroemia indica 'Whit X' DOUBLE DYNAMITE®

Lagerstroemia indica 'Whit X'
Lagerstroemia indica 'Whit X'  DOUBLE DYNAMITE®
crepe myrtle
SIZE/TYPE taller shrub
LEAVES deciduous broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES +multicoloured:burgundy red and green
BLOOMING TIME August - October
LOCATION full sun
SOIL TYPE acidic (peaty) to neutral
SOIL MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS evenly moist but well-drained
USDA zone (lowest) 6   (down to -23°C)
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Deciduous broadleaf
Summer blooms
náhled fotonáhled fotonáhled foto
Crape myrtle is a flowering shrub or small tree from China. It was first introduced to the USA and the UK in the 18th century. The original plant lagerstroemia indica is too tender and not too pretty so breeders were working on further hybridization and the most attractive varieties available now are believed to be results of crossing with l.speciosa and l.fauriei. Far more important news for us is the fact that among those finished plants were selected others that survived lower temperatures than what was common in the areas of natural habitat so we have a few myrtles that can grow even in our climate. Some were selections, other consequent hybrids.

Carl Whitcomb is one of the most important breeders of crepe myrtles with exceptional features, of which we particularly appreciate increased hardiness. He owns and runs a research station Lacebark Inc. in Stillwater in Oklahoma, USA, whose USDA zone is the same as warmer parts of Central Europe (7a), which offers great potential for our climate. He has been breeding crepe myrtles for over 40 years, and his very first patented success named ‘Whit I’ dates back to 1996. He created a series called Oklahoma Tough® which manifests the hardiness of his plants – it often reaches as low as -25 °C (root-hardy). He does not exclusively crossbreed hybrid varieties, but mostly proven varieties of the botanical species l. indica using ethyl methane sulfonic acid methyl ester (EMS), which can penetrate DNA and cause mutations, resulting in significant quality changes in the new generations. Carl Whitcomb focused on selecting those with, in addition to improved beauty, better health and flower sterility which makes possible repeat flowering without exhausting the plant with seed production.

DOUBLE DYNAMITE® is an improved crepe myrtle variety of DYNAMITE® from 2014. It bears some of the reddest flowers on the background of dark maroon foliage. It belongs to the Play It Again® series which comprises of varieties with double flowering on the same panicle and in a few cases also dark foliage as a bonus. The inflorescence of DOUBLE DYNAMITE® is a large (30x20 cm), upright panicles. Individual flowers are deep cherry red and open one by one from late July or early August (depending on summer quality). Once the first flush is almost over, new flower buds appear on the same panicle and, since they are sterile and do not produce seeds, they start blooming in no time. Flowering then lasts until the last sunny and warm days of autumn if the plant is well fed.

Leaves are deciduous, almost leathery, oval, bright maroon when they emerge, darker maroon as they mature, and dark green on less insolated parts. In acid soil they gain fantastic fiery red and orange shades in autumn. After they have fallen down older plants reveal flaking-off bark, similar to what plane trees or stewartias do, leaving a mosaic pattern on the smooth trunks. DOUBLE DYNAMITE® crepe myrtle was granted a US patent No. PP27,085 in 2016.

Crepe myrtles naturally form V-shaped shrubs or multi-stemmed trees. You can leave them to their own devices or train them into a spectacular multistems: when your plant reaches a height of around two meters you can start removing lateral branches from the lower parts to shape it into an elegant multi-stemmed tree. Mature trunks produce a beautiful pattern similar to that on planetrees, with several shades of brown, green, and beige. When the trees shed leaves and trunks become bare the display of these coloured trunks of crepe myrtles is usually the best.

Crepe myrtles need little care. They need full sun with zero shade during the day. Grow them in well-drained soil that should be kept moist before the plant is fully established. If cultivated in acidic soil the plant will make fabulous colour play of autumn foliage. Crape myrtle needs heavy mulching in winter and some mulch in summer to retain moisture. Fertilize it in spring to encourage growth (nitrogen-based fertilizers), and in summer to encourage flowering (phosphorus-based fertilizers). DOUBLE DYNAMITE® is wood-hardy to about -21 °C (USDA zone 6b), and root-hardy to almost -25 °C.

Last update: 04-10-2023

Lagerstroemia indica
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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