Turk’s Cap

Posted by on July 17, 2009 at 1:12 pm.
Turk's Cap Blossom

Turk's Cap Blossom

Turk’s Cap is known to biology geeks as Malvaviscus arboreus.  It is a decidous perrenial Texas native shrub that will grow in both sun and shade. It’s natural habitats include sandy low grounds near streams, limestone slopes around wooded creeks and palm groves. It ranges from the Texas Coastal Plain, east to Florida and also to the West Indies, Mexico and Cuba.  Maybe it’s because it is a native, but I have never had pest or disease prolems with this plant or even heard of anyone that has.

Turk’s cap blooms from mid summer all the way through fall. I love the little red flowers that really do look like a Turkish cap and the flowers and fruit can be used to make a tea.  I’m not the only one that loves it, though.  The hummingbirds and butterflies do too.

In the late summer or early fall, Turk’s Cap produces little red fruit that kind of look like rose hips and tastes like a cross between watermelon and apple.  They are very pulpy and full of seeds, but the can be cooked down and strained to make jelly or syrup.

Variegated Turk's Cap Foliage

Variegated Turk's Cap Foliage

I got this particular plant from a gardening friend and it is a variegated variety.  I seeds fairly easily so there are plenty of seedling to share, but it has not been overly aggressive in it’s reseeding.  If you plant this in N. Texas though, be sure to put it where you want it.  It has very deep and dense roots once it becomes established.

-- Weather When Posted --

  • Temperature: 84°F;
  • Humidity: 56%;
  • Heat Index: 86°F;
  • Wind Chill: 84°F;
  • Pressure: 30.11 in.;



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