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Crape myrtles are among the brightest blooming and most heat-tolerant trees available. Their array of summer blossoms is complemented by sculptural trunks and gold or red fall foliage. The contrast of reddish peeling bark and smooth trunk provides winter interest, too. Flower colors range from white to deep rose and magenta. Pick powdery mildew-resistant hybrids such as 'Natchez', 'Cherokee', and 'Wichita' for the best performance in humid summer regions. By planting crape myrtles against a warm, sunny wall, colder-climate gardeners can also enjoy this traditional Southeastern favorite.