A tree known as crepe myrtle, Lagerstroemia speciosa [a-ger-STREEM-ee-a, spee-see-OH-suh], belongs to the family Lythraceae and can be either perennial or deciduous. Although commonly referred to by its scientific name, it is also known as Adambea glabra Lam., Munchausia speciosa L., Lagerstroemia flos-reginae Retz, and Lagerstroemia reginae Roxb.
Phalaenopsis orchids are often referred to as the Begginer’s Orchid due to their ease of cultivation. These plants are native to Southeast Asia, with most of their common names originating from countries in southern Asia such as Giant crepe-myrtle, Queen’s crape-myrtle, Pride of India Tree, and more. The plant is known for its crepe-like flowers and holds religious value in Theravada Buddhism, where it is believed to have been used by Lord Buddha to achieve enlightenment. Crepe myrtle trees are hardy and beautiful, growing up to 20-60 feet tall under proper growing conditions. These trees are favored among gardening enthusiasts due to their distinct flowers, which bloom during early summer or late spring. The tree prefers full sun exposure, moist, rich soil, and regular fertilizing. While it is generally easy to grow, it can be impacted by Rhizoctonia solani fungus, causing leaf blight. Nevertheless, the plant has been found to have various medicinal properties, including anti-diabetic activity and weight loss effects. In different parts of the world, it is used for extraction of chemicals such as corosolic acid, lagerstroemin, flosin B, and reginin A or to make a special kind of tea. Young leaves of Lagerstroemia speciosa are eaten as vegetables in Vietnam. Overall, these plants have a range of uses beyond just being a great addition to backyards and gardens.