Turk's cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii)
Turk's Cap is a large perennial that is very adaptable. The red flowers appear during the warm weather months and are used by hummingbirds. This plant is great under trees where you want some color. Drought tolerant. Prefers partially shady sites. Under cultivation, Turk’s cap will adapt to and thrive in many different sites, including full sun and heavy soil, though full sun will cause its leaves to become rougher, smaller, darker, and puckered. It dies back to the ground in the winter, but comes back in the spring.
Leaves, flowers and fruit are edible, raw or cooked. Use young, tender leaves in salads. As the leaves toughen they can be used cooked or used for dolmas. The flowers are welcome salad additions. The fruit is sugary and cucumber tasting.
AT A GLANCE
- Texas native
- Drought tolerant
- Full sun to shade
- 2 ft tall x 2-3 ft wide
- Wildlife value: butterflies, bees, birds, hummingbirds