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LAGERSTROEMIA 'Tonto'

Image of Lagerstroemia 'Tonto'

James H. Schutte

Family

Lythraceae

Botanical Name

LAGERSTROEMIA 'Tonto'

Plant Common Name

Dwarf Crapemyrtle, Tonto Crapemyrtle

General Description

The Tonto crapemyrtle is a mildew resistant hybrid shrub with bright magenta red flowers and dull red fall foliage. It is an upright shrub that can be used as an accent plant or as an informal hedge or screen. Its bark is beige and spring's emerging leaves are bronze. By trimming away the lower branches, 'Tonto' can be made into a very small, petite vase-shaped tree.

Tonto is a hybrid of Japanese crapemyrtle with the common crapemyrtle that was made at the United States National Arboretum.

Crapemyrtles should be planted in a well-draining soil with pH range 5.5 to 7.5. Full sun is mandatory for best flowering and overall plant fullness and form. They are quite drought tolerant once established. Pruning should only be done on the small spent branch tips after the initial summer flowering. Often a smaller, second flowering can result by early autumn. 'Tonto' has a tendency to produce many small twigs that die and make the canopy look untidy.

The practice of severely pruning the crowns of crapemyrtles, called hat-racking, is a bad and unhealthy landscapers' practice. It does not lead to heavier flowering.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    11 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    7'-10' / 2.1m - 3.0m

  • Width

    5'-6' / 1.5m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Drought, Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Red, Magenta

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Chocolate, Gray

  • Bark Color Modifier

    Spotted/Mottled

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No