Turk’s Cap Red
Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii
- Type: Perennial
- Zone: 7 to 10
- Flower Color: Red
- Blooming Period: Summer, Fall
- Fruit Characteristics: Berry-like, Red
- Height: 2 – 3 Feet; up to 9 Feet
- Width: 3 – 5 Feet
- Sun: Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
- Evergreen, Semi-Evergreen
- Heat Tolerance: Very High
- Tolerates: Drought, Deer
- Soil Requirements: Adaptable
- Attracts: Butterflies, Hummingbirds
- Texas Native
- Texas Superstar®
Turk’s Cap Red is a rapidly growing, coarse textured plant that produces a profusion of “turban–like” flowers in various colors ranging from bright red to pink to white. Its vermillion red flowers are twisted into a tube showing extended red stamens protruding from the whorl. The Turks Cap flower attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Plants produce abundant suckers from the base and the upright stems branch infrequently. Turk’s cap is native to south Texas, where it becomes an established perennial, but in north Texas is should be used as an annual. Turk’s Cap is very drought tolerant once established.
One of Texas’ best loved and most used flowering ornamentals hails from a variety of habitats: sandy low grounds near streams, limestone slopes around wooded creeks and even palm groves provide fertile ground for turk’s cap. It ranges from the Texas Coastal Plain, east to Florida and also to the West Indies, Mexico and Cuba. In the Valley it is evergreen, flowering year round, but farther north it will die to the ground as an herbaceous perennial in colder climates where it grows to a maximum of 4 by 4 feet. Turk’s Cap forms a multi-branching bush that grows several feet high, but can be pruned back to a desired size. It can grow in full sun to deep shade, with a long bloom season through summer and into fall. The flowers consist of approximately 2 inch long petals that fold into each other and create a tight bloom that doesn’t “open”. The bright red flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds and put on a striking summer show.
Oddly, in full sun it may get mildew which crinkles the leaves.
Accent, perennial border, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, and deciduous hedge. Flowers are produced all summer but are especially heavy in the fall.