Lagerstroemia indica is a deciduous shrub or small tree with an upright, vase-shaped crown; it can grow from 3 – 8 metres tall. The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of wood. It is used in soil stabilization projects and is a very ornamental plant, valued especially for its floral display and neat habit, being commonly grown in gardens, as a street tree etc from the warm temperate zone to the tropics – there are many named varieties.
The stem bark is febrifuge, stimulant and styptic.
The bark, flowers and leaves are considered to be hydrogogue and a drastic purgative. A paste of the flowers is applied externally to cuts and wounds.
The root is astringent, detoxicant and diuretic. A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of colds. The white to light brown wood is hard. A useful timber of excellent quality.