Turk’s Cap ( Malvaviscus arbores var. drummondii )

I’m told this plant prefers some shade and blooms in the spring and fall down here. The one I have is in the shade and it is very slow to grow.

It is a native plant and easy to grow. It will form a 9′ plant along the coast, but by the time you reach Nacogdoches it tops out at about 5′ in height.

It may die back with frost but will return when the weather warms up. Mine had some die back but survived several hard freezes last winter.

Hummingbirds love this plant as do bees and butterflies. The name comes from the shape of the flower whose petals form an interesting spiral pattern.

Blooming is from May through November. This plant comes with red or pink flowers. Pruning should be done late fall and then heavily mulch for the winter.

It has been know to grow near swamps and in very dry areas. Water amounts should not matter once this plant has settled in.

The crinkles you see in the leaves in the above picture are because the nursery had this plant sitting in full sun. It is also prone to mold in full sun. Plant it in part to full shade for best performance.

I don’t know who or what but when I first planted this plant it was dug up about a half dozen times by some critter. Eventually the critter gave up.

The leaves of Turk’s cap are used in herbal medicines. It has fruit which is edible, some bird or critter will likely make off with it from your bush.

[ Mexican Turk’s Cap will not survive frosts. It is similar to Texas Turk’s cap but with longer flowers and smaller leaves ]

Survived and bloomed through the heat and drought of summer 2011