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Regional Picks: Late Season Wonders – Southern Plains

Fine Gardening - Issue 189

1. Turk’s Cap

Turk's Cap

Name: Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Zones: 7–11

Size: 4 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil

Native range: Southeastern United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America

This perennial’s bright red petals never fully open but form a loose whorl with protruding red stamens. It is said to resemble a Turkish turban, hence its common name. Turk’s cap blooms from late summer through early fall, and the blossoms give way to small, dark red fruit. It has upright to somewhat spreading stems, and leaves that are shallowly lobed and slightly fuzzy on the underside. In its southern range it is evergreen, shrubby, and larger. In full sun, the leaves become rougher, smaller, darker, and puckered. It is heat and drought tolerant and adapts to many diverse habitats. This Southern Plains native is a magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies too.

 

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