Malvaviscus Species, Cardinal's Hat, Firecracker Hibiscus, Sleeping Hibiscus, Sleepy Mallow

Malvaviscus penduliflorus

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Malvaviscus (mal-vuh-VIS-kus) (Info)
Species: penduliflorus (pend-yoo-lee-FLOR-us) (Info)



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


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:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

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)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Bartow, Florida

Green Cove Springs, Florida

Interlachen, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Longwood, Florida

Melbourne, Florida

Miami Beach, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Ainaloa, Hawaii

Hawaiian Beaches, Hawaii

Leilani Estates, Hawaii

Nanawale Estates, Hawaii

Pahoa, Hawaii

Bossier City, Louisiana

Youngsville, Louisiana

Angleton, Texas

Austin, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Dripping Springs, Texas

Houston, Texas

Mont Belvieu, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Waxahachie, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 23, 2018, marasri from Dripping Springs, TX wrote:

I love this plant , but wish I was a tad warmer. It is a late bloomer. On warm years I have large pendulous red flowers on the ramp up to Christmas, but alas, this year , the early freeze nipped them good. I give them a good mulching to get them through winter. I am on the border of Z8b and 8a. They say it is Z9 plant. I have lost one to a really bad freeze. Normally with mulching they are root hardy but care must be taken.


On Jul 27, 2013, Linda_Messina from Austin, TX wrote:

It grows beautifully here in Austin, TX. I have seen my daughter's freeze down to the ground and bounce right back. I have found them easy to root from cuttings. They are large, striking displays in bloom.
I love them.


On Apr 15, 2012, sally1704 from Houston, TX wrote:

Easy to grow from cuttings. Took awhile to bloom. Likes epsom salt, fish oil and compost tea. Blooms non-stop. Leans toward the sun.


On Jun 6, 2010, Zaragoza from Zaragoza,
Spain (Zone 8b) wrote:

A synonym is Malvaviscus arboreus var. penduliflorus


On Jul 28, 2009, cwalder from Angleton, TX wrote:

We have two of these plants and they will really get huge if you don't cut them back. The birds and squirrels love the blooms and foliage. The squirrels eat the blooms (Surprised me!) and the birds love to hide in the dense foliage. A must have for our garden as we love watching and photographing the wildlife!


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

I have not grown this plant. Giant Mexican Turk's Cap, Mazapan, Turkscap Mallow, Sleeping Waxmallow, Sleeping Hibiscus (Malvaviscus penduliflorus) is native to areas from Mexico through Central America to Columbia. After being introduced in Hawaii, Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico it has become naturalized. It will grow in Zone 8a and 8b; however, it will freeze to the ground after hard freezes to return in the spring. The stems have fairly dense split hairs. The undersides of the leaves of M. penduliflorus are glabrate (smooth); whereas, the underside of the leaves of M. arboreus are pubescent. The serrated leaves are oval or sword shaped, mostly unlobed and 4 to 10 cm long with a pointed tip. The flowers are 2 to 2.5 inches (5 to 6 cm) long with protruding stamen and are humming-bird ... read more