Turk’s Cap

Photo Credit: Randy Lemmon
Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var. Drummondii)

When I first started being a “garden advice” person, I knew absolutely nothing about Turk’s Cap, but in these 25-plus years I have learned to absolutely love this plant more and more each year. Mainly because, when in bloom, nothing else in this world looks like a Turk’s Cap Bloom.

This beauty got its name from its flower, which resembles a Turkish turban.  You will love the bright red hibiscus-like flowers with overlapping petals that never fully open and form a cool-looking column from which the stamen protrudes.

This true Texas native is actually considered a shrub – not just a perennial, as some people believe. It can be found in nurseries from Texas to Mexico as a Drummond Wax Mallow.  

And while the Turk’s Cap is considered a “spreading” shrub, don’t panic – it will not overwhelm an area since its growth pattern is sort of self-controlled.  It will likely never get taller than 2-3 feet.   Turk’s Cap prefers partial shade but can handle early morning full sun and will tolerate a range of soil types.

Let me give you the 5 Great Reasons, to plant a Turk’s Cap in your landscape, that were taught to me by the person who first introduced it to me that 25 years ago – Beverly Welch, the owner of The Arbor Gate in Tomball, Texas. www.arborgate.com

1.Provides reliable and unique flowers from spring through fall.
2. One of the few plants that blooms profusely in partial shade.
3. Grows well in a myriad of sunlight conditions.
4. Great “pollinator” plant, and especially awesome for hummingbirds.
5. Amazing host plant for butterflies!