Malvaviscus Species, Ladies Teardrop, Turkcap, Turk's Turban, Scotchman's Purse, Wax Mallow

Malvaviscus arboreus

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

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

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

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

Houma, 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

Dallas, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Frisco, Texas

Garland, Texas

Georgetown, Texas

Hereford, Texas

Houston, Texas(2 reports)

League City, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

New Caney, Texas

North Zulch, Texas

Onalaska, Texas

Rockport, Texas

Round Rock, Texas(2 reports)

San Antonio, Texas(2 reports)

San Marcos, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas(2 reports)

Victoria, Texas

Whitney, Texas

Waverly, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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 i... read more


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.