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Products > Malvaviscus arboreus
Malvaviscus arboreus - Turk's Cap

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Malvaceae (w/Bombacaceae & Sterculeacea)
Origin: Brazil (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Year-round
Synonyms: [Hibiscus malvaviscus]
Height: 12-16 feet
Width: 8-12 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Malvaviscus arboreus (Turk's Cap) - This is a freely-branching shrub that can grow as large as 15 feet tall by 12 feet wide with slightly-lobed downy-green leaves and has showy flowers that have upright red petals that enclose all but the tip of the floral tube comprising the stigma and stamens. These brilliant blooms show for most of the year. Plant in full sun to light shade and irrigate occasionally. Hardy down to about 20 degrees F. A great large shrub that if left unpruned grows tall with well-spaced branches, giving it an open appearance but it can be kept much smaller and tighter with regular pruning and even make a nice tight hedge. Flowers are attractive to birds, butterflies and bees. Malvaviscus arboreus has an extensive range from the subtropical areas of southern Texas and Florida south through the cloud forests of Mexico through the Caribbean down to South America with several listed varieties but this form (var. arboreus) comes from southern Mexico and Central America. The name for the genus comes from the Latin words 'malva', meaning "mallow," and 'viscus' meaning "sticky" in reference to the sticky sap produced by members of the genus. The specific epithet is means tree and is a reference to how large this plant can grow. The central stamen and stigma column protrudes beyond the petals which remain closed and this look is thought to resemble a Turkish turban, leading to its most often used common name. Other common names include Sleeping Hibiscus, Wax Mallow, Drummond's Wax Mallow, Drummond Wax Mallow, Red Mallow, Texas Mallow, Mexican Apple, Bleeding Hearts and Manzanilla. We have grown this plant since 1981.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing Malvaviscus arboreus.