Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii
‘Big Momma’ is the result of a cross between Malvaviscus drummondii (Turk’s cap with upward facing 2” long flowers and winter hardiness to USDA Zone 7) and Malvaviscus penduliflorus (giant Turk’s cap with drooping 3” long flowers and winter hardiness to USDA Zone 9).
Malvaviscus is a genus of shrubby herbaceous hibiscus relatives that are native to the southern U.S., Mexico and Central America. This hybrid basically combines the excellent winter hardiness of the former with the larger flowers of the latter. It was developed and subsequently introduced into commerce in 2005 by Texan Greg Grant.
Plants grown in full sun typically rise to 4-6’ tall. Showy, hibiscus-like, 5-petaled scarlet red flowers (to 2 3/4” long) bloom, usually in abundance, from mid-summer to first frost at which point plants will die to the ground in the nature of herbaceous perennials. The flower petals twist and swirl around the extended pistil and stamens which protrude beyond the petal tips, thus giving rise to the sometimes used common names of Turk’s cap (flower shape) and sleepy mallow (resembles a hibiscus bud that doesn’t completely open). Hummingbirds, butterflies and bees are attracted to the flowers. Flowers give way to marble-sized red fruits which are edible.
Deer resistant, rabbit resistance, drought tolerant.
Light: Full Sun, Part Shade
Zone: 7, 8, 9, 10