Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Buffalo Rose, Purple Poppy Mallow, Wine Cups
Callirhoe involucrata

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Callirhoe (kal-ir-OH-ee) (Info)
Species: involucrata (in-vol-yoo-KRAY-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Callirhoe involucrata var. involucrata

12 vendors have this plant for sale.

38 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

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


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By trois
Thumbnail #1 of Callirhoe involucrata by trois

By Jeff_Beck
Thumbnail #2 of Callirhoe involucrata by Jeff_Beck

By poppysue
Thumbnail #3 of Callirhoe involucrata by poppysue

By leeb678
Thumbnail #4 of Callirhoe involucrata by leeb678

By Jeff_Beck
Thumbnail #5 of Callirhoe involucrata by Jeff_Beck

By Jeff_Beck
Thumbnail #6 of Callirhoe involucrata by Jeff_Beck

By frostweed
Thumbnail #7 of Callirhoe involucrata by frostweed

There are a total of 26 photos.
Click here to view them all!


20 positives
3 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative dkmac86 On Mar 25, 2014, dkmac86 from Wellington, CO wrote:

While I love the color of the flowers and the fact that it blooms all season, it self seeds to the point that it is as bad as any weed in the garden. When I first planted it I was delighted with the plant, so I took seedlings and filled it in as a ground cover; but soon found that the plants became leggy and over grew neighboring plants. (the garden is shaded various parts of the day). So now I pull the seedlings the minute they show up. Fortunately the seeds don't seem to spread too far from the mother plant; but there are a lot of them and vigilance is needed so the seedlings don't get ahead of me.

Negative nativelyeager On Mar 17, 2014, nativelyeager from Brooksville, FL wrote:

You say, "May be a noxious weed or invasive." And then you say there are no negatives. To this conservation worker, that is contradictory. Here's one negative. In Hillsborough County, ISB shows documentation it has escaped cultivation into public lands (natural areas). Though it may not be a widespread non-native noxious weed (yet?), anything naturalizing into natural areas has that potential. (It may be worse, just not yet documented as such.) Be aware of that possibility if you plant this, and especially consider NOT planting it if you have any proximity to natural areas. If the seeds may be moved by birds, then it is likely to have greater potential for movement to eventually alter habitat character. This is how it all begins, and most people who love plants do not want to be the ones to cause environmental stress.

Positive coriaceous On Jul 8, 2013, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

One of the most useful of herbaceous perennials. Planted between or among other clump-forming plants (to 2 feet tall) in the border, it will weave its way on and through them and display its glowing fuchsia flowers well without any need for the gardener's intervention. Blooms here from July till frost, does not require deadheading. Stems can reach 4 feet or longer.

This will lie prostrate if it has nothing to ramble into, but it doesn't have enough foliage to smother weeds as a groundcover should. Grows well intermingled with taller plants.

Drought tolerant, it requires well-drained soil. In places with hot/dry summers, it may go summer dormant, but I've never seen that happen in Massachusetts.

I find occasional self-sown seedlings, but not enough to be troublesome. Young seedlings can be easily transplanted, but mature plants have a deep parsnip-like taproot and don't transplant easily except in spring before much top growth has developed. Seeds need to be scarifed as with sandpaper for good germination if you want to start seeds. Some plants seem to be dioecious and won't produce seeds if grown as a solitary specimen.

Individual plants are moderately short-lived (4-5 years). The moderate self-sowing helps keep a planting going long-term. Many plants naturalize outside their native range without becoming invasive (destructive) in natural areas. I've never seen this reported to be invasive in that sense. (For example, the USDA Plants database, which is intended to indicate invasive plants, does not suggest that this may be invasive. ) This plant is a poster child among those promoting the more widespread use of native plants in gardens.

Plants are much prettier in the garden than they are in the nursery's pots. If you give them a chance in your garden, you won't regret it.

Positive Clint07 On Jul 31, 2012, Clint07 from Bethlehem, PA wrote:

Here in Zone 6 where it gets a few hours of sun a day it's done well for several years. The color of its blossoms is striking. I lift it and spread it out with stakes and velcro tape to display it. Blossoms for several months. Does anyone know whether deadheading spent blossoms is either necessary or useful to prolong blooming?

Positive Gabrielle On Feb 27, 2012, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Spreads quickly; easy enough to rip out. Beautiful colored flowers. Blooms June-October in my garden.

Positive dnyman On May 18, 2011, dnyman from Salt Lake City, UT wrote:

Has darker foliage than most xeric bed plants making for a great contrasting element in the color pallet. Never had any problems with it seeding, perhaps I have a slightly different cultivar that does well in neutral soils. Great alternative plant to Delosperma.

Positive allfours On Sep 10, 2010, allfours from Ottawa, Ontario
Canada wrote:

I grow Callirhoe in Ottawa, Ont., and love the way it rambles through other plants. It does get munched by rabbits and/or groundhogs in the spring, but today (Sept. 10) it is blooming really well without any sign of animal munching. I've had mixed success with transplanting it and it doesn't like to be under trees. However, it is lovely along a flagstone path or trailing over a small wall and seems to prefer drier soil.

Positive MGrippo On Jun 19, 2010, MGrippo from Holbrook, NY wrote:

Hi Long Island NY here --- Love this plant however it overtakes anything. I am a new gardener and am learning how to cut this back. so far anything i do doesn;t seem to hurt it. I got these from a neighbor about 2-3 years ago because he had to thin his out. They really grow. This spring transplanted a couple in a different spot in the yard and thought for a few weeks that they wouldn't make it. they did have a super long root which i transplanted and now less than 2 months later I have two new ones that will need to be tamed soon! For a novice like myself I would recommend these because they build confidence. I really like an overgrown wildflowery looking garden and these really help. But it is a short distance between an overgrown look and totally out of control

Positive misbass On Jun 16, 2010, misbass from Las Vegas, NM wrote:

Las Vegas, New Mexico (Zone 5a)
This plant "volunteered" itself in my yard about five years ago and has done great. Very prettty and blooms all summer from May thru September!
However, this year the buds are turning brown and falling off. maybe because a shady tree also volunteered and the poppy is now mostly in shade? Any ideas of what may be the problem? The plant itself looks healthy.

Positive mjab17 On Oct 27, 2009, mjab17 from North Billerica, MA wrote:

kinda fun .. easy to grow, interesting. what more could you want. I think i have a hybrid that dosent set seed and the bloooms are very low to the growned. sadly gets the lawn mower a lot from my father who doesn't bother to see where he is mowing. But it will always recover within a few weeks like it never ever happened ...kinda cool

Positive flora_p On Oct 25, 2009, flora_p from Champaign, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Love this plant! The silky look of the petals, the rich glowing color, and its tendency to noodle around its neighbors and pop up with a bloom in unexpected places--it'll clamber up a bit (leaning, not really climbing) as well as trailing. It's unfazed by living next to a concrete driveway in the summer heat; it does need some defense from the rabbits when it first comes out, as it seems to be a favorite of theirs. No volunteer seedlings yet in Zone 5b, but I'm hoping.

Positive Dodsky On Aug 28, 2009, Dodsky from Smiths Grove, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant has a lot going for it. It makes a fairly dense, sprawling ground cover that fills in well between shrubs and medium-sized perennials in a flower bed. The silver-veined foliage is at its most attractive in late spring/early summer, but the real selling point for this plant is the wonderfully abundant magenta/rich pink blooms that really catch your eye and add a brilliant splash of color from mid-spring through fall (in my zone 6b area). My plant is growing in a raised bed that gets full sun from sunup through mid-afternoon, and it fills in well between a dwarf mock orange, Clethra "Ruby Spice" shrub, and a few other taller perennials.

I had some Sempervivums planted near it that were crowded out, they couldn't take the shade created by the ground cover effect of this plant. I would not recommend planting this plant where it might crowd out smaller plants that you want to keep. It's not highly aggressive in my zone, it's just a vigorous grower that if left to its own will tend to crowd out smaller plants in a 2-4' radius.

It grows readily from seed, but does not transplant well after it matures because it has a deep tap root. The tap root is actually a plus though, it allows this plant to tolerate drier conditions.

Positive EditorTKG On Jun 8, 2009, EditorTKG from Campbellsville, KY wrote:

This plant also grows in Campbellsville, Kentucky. I obtained a start of it while my daughter was living in Wichita, Kansas. Its spreading growth filled in a bare area nicely. I transplanted a large root or rhyzome last fall because I no longer needed ground cover in that area. I was afraid it had expired over winter, but healthy leaves are forming on it at present. I plan to get more, or divide the root of what I have, to cover some bare ground while we are awaiting shrubs to mature. My family in Campbellsville love the plant, but my daughter complained that she had to cut it as a weed in Kansas. Now that she lives in Indiana, she may like ours as well.

Neutral woodspirit1 On May 11, 2009, woodspirit1 from Lake Toxaway, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I just ordered this seed from Devonshire Gardens in Ontario. The information said that they needed to be sowed in very cool circumstances (41 deg. F) and it could be months to come up. So I guess they self-sow in Texas in the warmer areas in the winter and then bloom beginning spring. I don't know if I will have any luck this time, but I'm going to try to give it a shot. If anyone has any experience with these in Zone 6, plmk by d-mail.

Positive mamajack On May 5, 2009, mamajack from Fate, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

if frostweed says its native then its native. i love it and will always have it in my garden. it reproduces easily here in texas but they are easily removed. i had at least one tuber that was about 5-6 inches in diameter. it sends out stems that radiate all around the sides and looks sort of like that swing ride at 6 flags. they have a long bloom time and you never have to deadhead for a beautiful shade of purple rain or shine. i thank God and Texas for this beautiful plant.

Neutral Tim_in_Iowa On Apr 4, 2009, Tim_in_Iowa from Underwood, IA wrote:

Very easy to grow and nice flowers but quite aggressive. I'm constantantly trimming back and pulling up seedlings to keep it under control.

Positive dianne99 On Aug 9, 2008, dianne99 from Brookville, KS (Zone 5b) wrote:

I encourage these to naturalize in my (hope-to-be-someday-be) grass-free, bee-friendly, low-mow yard with lots of white clover, various wild strawberries as well as 5-10 other types of native blooming groundcovers (which I don't know the names of yet) that bloom every color imaginable. Between them all, there is something tiny blooming most every freeze-free period of the year--poppy mallow are some of the earliest to start and latest to finish with the heaviest bloom all spring, when I actually mow around them while in bloom because they keep their little area weed-free. They will come back and bloom the next day even if mowed--but they are not invasive. I love to look down as I'm walking and see what all types of tiny flowers are going and what type of wildlife is enjoying them--these are 50-cent piece sized when fully open and are the star of the show. I also let them scramble around feet in any flower bed they want because their color combines with any color.

Neutral htop On May 29, 2007, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

It is easily distinguished from the tall poppy mallow (Callirhoe leiocarpa) whose flowers are quite similar. Callirhoe involucrata tend to trail close to the ground; whereas, Callirhoe leiocarpa is a tall, lanky, upright plant. Callirhoe involucrata flowers have an epicalyx (involucral bracts) which is a whorl of small bracts(modified leaves) just below the calyx. Callirhoe leiocarpa flowers do not have these bracts. Callirhoe involucrata has evergreen foliage.

Positive frostweed On Feb 19, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Wine Cups, Purple Poppy Mallow Callirhoe involucrata is Native to Texas and other States.

Positive Debpits On Jul 27, 2006, Debpits from Scituate, MA wrote:

I am interested in propagating my plant from stem cuttings or seeds. I'm on the water in MA zone 7a.
One of the most charming plants in my garden. It crawls in and out amongst a bed of Lady's Mantle. The combination is a show stopper

Positive Tokoro On Apr 16, 2006, Tokoro from Sacramento, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant sprawls and doesn't cover the ground, so I would suggest filling in with something like lamb's ear planted around the tap root. I have fuschia flowers blooming on a couple of these already, in early April. The lamb's ear pops up very early, and helps fill in the ground between the sprawls of the callirhoe. This year I'm going to try interplanting shasta daisies and tahoka daisies with the poppy mallow, and some live-fast-die-fast blue flax, which won't survive the brutal Sacramento summer heat, but will self-seed. The planting area is a 150' long strip next to my driveway that I do not water unless we have a very prolonged heat wave, so I'm after no-care plants that I can ignore. The poppy mallow fits this bill.

Positive wallaby1 On Nov 26, 2005, wallaby1 from Lincoln
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

Tempted to give neutral, but I love the plant. I started with 5 plants from seed, lost 2 in 1st year. They must be planted in situ very early so as to establish their long tap root. 3 have survived around 4 years, lost 2 of them poss. all the mole activity. One remaining, which I don't want to lose.
I took seed off 3 years ago, but they failed to grow well, perhaps should have put in the ground. I kept them inside over next winter as spindly small plants, they didn't make it. Not had any good seed since, mine hasn't self seeded. I have it in a semi-shaded spot at the top of a bank, it looks lovely trailing down. Will have to try in a sunnier spot, maybe too shady for it.

Positive alp728 On Jun 22, 2004, alp728 from Bay City, MI wrote:

I have this growing in my outlawn area, between the sidewalk and street. It is one of the plants in this "experimental garden" that will tolerate the heavy salt spray. I planted 2" pots almost three years ago. Lots of de-icing salt, sun, and very silty soil over hard clay, and it performs beautifully. I will be adding more to achieve a ground cover effect, as it doesn't form much of a mat, rather sprawling on long stems, but I love the way the blossoms seem to pop up from nowhere among the other plants (mostly weeds at this point).

Positive CropDoc On Feb 24, 2004, CropDoc from Columbus, NE wrote:

In Nebraska "cowboy rose" is the common name. It seems wide spread in the state, I have observed it wild on both very sandy soil and clay loams. It seems to be extremely drought tolerant, but I have not observed it on wet sites for performance. I have grown it in my garden for several years now. It will self seed, however is not what I would consider invasive. The growth habit is several loose growing vines up to 5 foot long that sort of drape themselves over surrounding foliage. A single plant will not cover the ground well, but if one has several close together the vines mat together and they will choke out almost all competition. The several vines originate from an edible turnip like structure that grows quite large over several years, I have observed roots 4 to 5 inches through. They will produce considerable seed. If you do not get real ambitious with the hoe, each year you will find seedling plant growing in the area. Leave them alone for 3 or 4 years and you can move them when they are an inch across and not lose a one. It reliably produces a beautiful crop of rose flowers for several weeks in July and August. The color is unlike practically anything else in the garden. Sioux Indians inhaled the smoke of dried for head colds. Cowboy Rose is a way cool plant and deserves being planted much more than it is at present.

Positive barnegat On Feb 3, 2004, barnegat from Wellesley, MA wrote:

Wine cups makes a great groundcover that will surround without smothering other plants. In a sunny southwestern exposure that never gets watered, it produces deep rose-pink flowers that get along very nicely with achillea, columbines, ice plant, daylilies, strawberries, and even some prickly pears. It is certainly not invasive in MA.


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

El Mirage, Arizona
Mesa, Arizona
Morrilton, Arkansas
Richmond, California
Sacramento, California
Denver, Colorado
Fort Collins, Colorado
Larkspur, Colorado
Montrose, Colorado
Wellington, Colorado
Bartow, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Spring Hill, Florida (2 reports)
Trenton, Florida
Boise, Idaho (2 reports)
Champaign, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Plainfield, Illinois
Spring Grove, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
Pacific Junction, Iowa
Underwood, Iowa
Baldwin City, Kansas
Brookville, Kansas
Olathe, Kansas
Rolla, Kansas
Campbellsville, Kentucky
Smiths Grove, Kentucky
Dracut, Massachusetts
North Billerica, Massachusetts
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Scituate, Massachusetts
Wayland, Massachusetts
Wellesley, Massachusetts
Allegan, Michigan
Bay City, Michigan
Lincoln Park, Michigan
Richland, Michigan
Center City, Minnesota
Belton, Missouri
Elsberry, Missouri
Columbus, Nebraska
Andover, New Hampshire
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Las Vegas, New Mexico
Holbrook, New York
Lake Grove, New York
Black Mountain, North Carolina
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Chiloquin, Oregon
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Memphis, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Sweetwater, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Belton, Texas
Bulverde, Texas
Crawford, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Fate, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Garland, Texas
Houston, Texas
La Vernia, Texas
Lufkin, Texas
North Richland Hills, Texas
Princeton, Texas
Rowlett, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Santa Fe, Texas
Weatherford, Texas
Pleasant Grove, Utah
Provo, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Lexington, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Spokane, Washington
Casper, Wyoming

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