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Turk's Cap

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Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

This spreading shrub, often as broad as high, grows 2-3 ft., sometimes reaching 9 ft. Bright-red, pendant, hibiscus-like flowers never fully open, their petals overlapping to form a loose tube with the staminal column protruding, said to resemble a Turkish turban, hence its most common name, Turk's Cap. Especially useful in shady situations.

The variety name of this plant is named for Thomas Drummond (ca. 1790-1835), a naturalist born in Scotland, around 1790. In 1830 he made a trip to America to collect specimens from the western and southern United States. In March 1833, he arrived at Velasco, Texas, to begin his collecting work in that area. He spent twenty-one months working the area between Galveston Island and the Edwards Plateau, especially along the Brazos, Colorado, and Guadalupe rivers. His collections were the first made in Texas that were extensively distributed among the museums and scientific institutions of the world. He collected 750 species of plants and 150 specimens of birds. Drummond had hoped to make a complete botanical survey of Texas, but he died in Havana, Cuba, in 1835 while making a collecting tour of that island.

Drought is 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 the unremitting sun will cause its leaves to become rougher, smaller, darker, and puckered.

Butterfly Host Plant: Turk's-cap White Skipper (Heliopetes macaira)

Height: 2’-5’
Spread: 2’-5’
Bloom: May-November
Light: Partial Sun, Shade
Water: Medium
Zone: 7, 8, 9, 10 
Origin: Texas

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