Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Turk's Cap
Malvaviscus arboreus

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Malvaviscus (mal-vuh-VIS-kus) (Info)
Species: arboreus (ar-BOR-ee-us) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

17 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 20 photos.
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6 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Hagar3 On Apr 15, 2012, Hagar3 from Byron, GA wrote:

We have some plants that are thriving from some cuttings from a plant that my wife and her grandmother planted over 50 years ago in central Georgia.

Positive jujubetexas On Nov 18, 2010, jujubetexas from San Marcos, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

A tough as nails plant that likes clay, sand, acid, alkaline soil in sun, part sun, part shade and shade.

This plant can take heat and drought with no care after the first few months.

Get the point! This plant rocks. It will freeze back in the winter but it is perennial so you get it again in spring.

The fruits are pretty good tasting when very ripe and red. They taste like Watermelon but are mostly seed. I have heard that the young leaves and flowers are edible too but I have just eaten the berries.

Positive alzone7 On Aug 21, 2010, alzone7 from Gadsden, AL wrote:

Turks Cap is hardy for me in Z7 in afternoon shade. It dies down in winter, but always comes back. It doesn't form a shrub this far north and has a rangy wild flower form, so you wouldn't put it in a formal border, but it's a great backyard plant. Stays 3' or less.

Positive Lily_love On Apr 3, 2009, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

I'm delighted to have found out that this multitrunk plant is a deciduous perennial in my garden (zone 7b). Although, credits this to the microclimate that I have (being near a lake). I took cuttings just in case -- but to my delight, this plant is sprouting back outdoor. Now I've many a cuttings to share with friends. Lovely plants, carefree, and they do produce seedpods!

Positive MollyMc On Sep 28, 2008, MollyMc from Archer/Bronson, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

These are the easiest plants to propagate from cuttings. You can put them in water or potting soil and within a week or so you will have lots of roots.

The ones I grow in my orchid house in the ground bed get kind of leggy and will fall over and grow roots along the stem. I suspect if I spent more time pruning them, they would be more bushy like. Think I will try that next year.

Neutral weirdward On May 7, 2008, weirdward from Whitney, TX wrote:

I have not grown this before and I am wondering if I can put it in a large container and have it do well. My ground has a lot of black clay and rocks. From reading other inputs it seems it will grow most anywhere.

Neutral htop On Mar 9, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant which is a native of the tropical regions of Mexico to Peru and Brazil. It has naturalized in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina. Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus) is a spreading shrub that grows to about 2 to 3 m high and 2 to 3 m wide (average size 8 feet by 8 feet). It often spreads by layering. The stems and leaves are densely covered with stellate hairs. The ovate to suborbicular leaves are shallowly 3-lobed or not lobed and have crenate-serrate margins. The 20 to 35 mm long flower petals are scarlet. The red fleshy fruit are about 1 to 3 cm in diameter. It can be propagated by layering, cuttings, root division and seed. Malvaviscus arboreus is a great plant for a hummingbird garden. It is not suitable for a small garden because it tends to ramble. There are dwarf cultivars of this plant. The young leaves, flowers and fruit are edible.

Positive macybee On Jun 30, 2007, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I don't know why they call it a shrub. I'm not really wise to all of this but mine is more a stalk here and there. Maybe a shrub starting here and there..?
Hardy little guys. I never do anything to mine. They just come back every year.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Daleville, Alabama
Gadsden, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Scottsdale, Arizona
Little Rock, Arkansas
Star City, Arkansas
San Leandro, California
Upland, California
Archer, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Miami, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Byron, Georgia
Baton Rouge, Louisiana (2 reports)
Bossier City, Louisiana
Mandeville, Louisiana
Biloxi, Mississippi
Florence, Mississippi
Mesilla Park, New Mexico
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Swansea, South Carolina
Memphis, Tennessee
Middleton, Tennessee
Abilene, Texas (2 reports)
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Belton, Texas
Boerne, Texas
Brazoria, Texas
Carrollton, Texas
College Station, Texas
Crawford, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Frisco, Texas
Garland, Texas
Georgetown, Texas
Hereford, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
League City, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
North Zulch, Texas
Onalaska, Texas
Rockport, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
San Marcos, Texas
Santa Fe, Texas (2 reports)
Victoria, Texas
Whitney, Texas

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