Family • Lythraceae - Lagerstroemia indica Linn. - CRAPE MYRTLE - Tzu hui

Scientific names

Lagerstroemia elegans Wall. ex Paxton
Lagerstroemia indica Linn.
Lagerstroemia chinensis Lam.
Murtughas indica (L.) Kuntze

Common names

Melendres (Span., Tag.)
Melindres (Span.)
Pelendres (Tag.)
Poua (Buk.)
Tabañgau (Ibn.)
Crape myrtle (Engl.)
Crepe flower (Engl.)
Crepe myrtle (Engl.)
Rose of India (Engl.)
Tzu hui (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

BURMESE: Pan-ei. MARATHI: Vilayatimendi.
CATALAN: Laguertrèmia. POLISH: Lagerstremia indyjska.
CHINESE: Zi wei, Bai ri hong, Wu pi shu, Yang yang hua, Yang yang shu, Zi jin hua, Zi lan hua, Wen zi hua. PORTUGUESE: Árvore-de-júpiter, Escumilha, Resedá (Brazil).
DUTCH: Lagerstroemia. RUSSIAN: Indijskaia siren, Lagerstremiia indijskaia.
FRENCH: Lilas d’été, Lilas des Indes, Myrte de crêpe. SANSKRIT: Siddhesvara.
GERMAN: Chinesische Kräuselmyrte, Kreppmyrte. SPANISH: Árbol de Júpiter, Crespón , Espumilla, Júpiter, Lila de las Indias, Lila del sur, Melindres.
GREEK: Lagkestrémia i̱ indikí̱. SWEDISH: Lagerströmia.
HINDI: Harsingar, Phurush, Saoni, Telingachina. TELUGU: Chinagoranta, Chinnagoranta.
ITALIAN: Albero di San Bartolomeo, Lagerstremia. THAI: Dta baek, Kam hor, Sa lao, Yee kayng.
JAPANESE: Sarusuberi, TURKISH: Oya ağacı.
KOREAN: Bae long na mu. VIETNAMESE: Tường vi, Tử vi tàu.
MALAY: Bungur kecil.


Melendres is a shrub growing up to 3 meters or less in height. Branches are slender, 4-angled, and narrowly winged. Leaves are entire, stalkless, obovate, elliptic-ovate to oblong-ovate, 4 to 8 centimeters long. Flowers are white, pink or purplish, about 4 centimeters in diameter, borne on small, terminal panicles. Capsules are globose-ovoid, about 1 centimeter long.

– Cultivated in Manila and neighboring towns for ornamental purposes.
– Nowhere spontaneous.
– Native of China.|
– Now planted in most warm and tropical regions.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Biphenylquinolizidine Alkaloids from Lagerstroemia indica / Hong Jin Kim et al / J. Nat. Prod., 2009, 72 (4), pp 749–752 / DOI: 10.1021/np800619g

(2) Antithrombin activity of medicinal plants from central Florida / Natalya Chistokhodova et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 81, Issue 2, July 2002, Pages 277-280 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(02)00097-1

(3) Isolation of Natural Colorants from Lagerstroemia indica: Kinetic and Adsorption Studies / K. N. Vinod, Puttaswamy, K. N. Ninge Gowda, R. Sudhakar / Chinese Journal of Chemistry Volume 28, Issue 7, pages 1091–1096, July,2010 / DOI: 10.1002/cjoc.201090191

(4) Anti-inflammatory effects of ethanolic extract from Lagerstroemia indica on airway inflammation in mice / Yang EJ, Lee JS, Song BB, Yun CY, Kim DH, Kim IS / J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jul 14;136(3):422-7. Epub 2010 Jun 18.

(5) Sorting Lagerstroemia names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 – 2020 The University of Melbourne.

(6) Chemical constituents and pharmacological studies of Lagerstroemia indica / R M Labib, N A Ayoub, A B Singab, M M Al-Azizi, A Sleem /

(7) Biphenyl and Biphenyl Ether Quinolizidine N-oxide Alkaloids from Lagerstroemia indica L. / IkSoo Lee , UiJoung Youn , HongJin Kim, ByungSun Min, Jin Sook Kim, KiHwan Bae / Planta Med 2011; 77(18): 2037-2041 / DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1280064


– Biocolorants isolated from the fruits were found to be quercetin and apigenin.
– Study isolated two new biphenylquinolizidine alkaloids, 5-epi-dihydrolyfoline and its sterioisomer, dihydrolyfoline, along with lagerine, from the aerial parts of L. indica.
– Aqueous methanol leaf extract yielded 2 natural products for the first time—brevifolin and decarboxy ellagic acid together with known polyphenolics: p-methoxy gallic acid methyl ester Gallic acid 3-O-methylgallate Tellimagrandin Nilocitin 1,3-di-O-galloyl-4,6-hexahydroxydiphenoyl-β-4 C 1 -glucopyranose 2,3-hexahydroxydip-henic acid-α/β-glucoside Isovitexin Vitexin Iso-orientin Orientin Astralagin Rutin Apigenin-7-O-4 C 1 -β-D-glucoside  Catechin Epicatechin Luteolin-7-O-4 C 1 -β-D-glucoside 3-methoxyellagic acid Ellagic acid Apigenin Kaempferol Luteolin and Quercetin
– Aerial parts of L. indica yielded four new biphenyl and biphenyl ether quinolizidine N-oxide alkaloids, 5-epi-dihydrolyfoline N-oxide, decamine N-oxide, lagerstroemine N-oxide, and lagerine N-oxide.
– Tow new biphenylquinolizidine al


– Considered astringent, purgative, febrifuge, stimulant.

Parts used
Roots, bark, leaves, flowers.

– In India, decoction of roots considered astringent, used as gargle.
– Roots, leaves and flowers are purgative.
– Bark used as febrifuge and stimulant.

Charcoal made from it used in Japan for thickening laquer.

• Phytochemicals: High content of potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and sulfur present in the leaf. Study yielded alkaloids in high concentration, followed by tannins, cardiac glycosides, saponins, sterols, triterpenes and anthraquinones reducing compounds.
• Biphenylquinolizidine Alkaloids:Study yielded two new biphenylquinolizidine alkaloids, 5-epi-dihydrolyfoline and its sterioisomer, dihydrolyfoline along with lagerine, from the aerial parts of L. indica.
• Antithrombin: L. indica was one of seven of 30 plants of central Florida studied for antithrombin activity. In the bioassay used, the seven demonstrated activity of 80% or higher.
• Natural Colorants: Biocolorants isolated from the fruits were found to be quercetin and apigenin. The dry samples exhibited good colour fastness to washing and perspiration. The colorants showed a potential source as dye for textile dyeing.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory effect of LI on lung inflammation in ovalbumin-induced asthmatic mice. The LI extract inhibited increased cytokine concentrations, significantly inhibited leucocytosis and eosinophilia in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung tissue samples, and inhibited the increase in mucus secretion by goblet cells. Results suggest the LI extract may be used as a valuable agent for treating allergic diseases such as asthma due to its anti-inflammatory property.
• Insecticidal: The insecticidal activity of 14 varieties of Chinese plants were screened through diet-incorporated method against the larvae of Helicovepa armigera. The inhibition rate of Lagerstroemia indica was the highest among the treatments.
• Biologic Activities: Aqueous methanol leaf extracts from two extraction methods (A & B) showed significant activities viz. anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, analgesic, antihyperglycemic, antioxidant and hepatoprotective. Extract B showed ore antihyperglycemic activity.
• Biphenyl and Biphenyl Ether Quinolizidine N-oxide Alkaloids: Four new biphenyl and biphenyl ether quinolizidine N-oxide alkaloids. (See constituents above) The inhibitory effects of isolated compounds on rat lens aldose reductase (RLAR) were examined.