Monday, September 9, 2013

Turk's Cap: For the Birds?


I love Turk's Cap, malvaviscus drummondii.  A member of the mallow family, its range stretches from Mexico through Texas, to Florida, Cuba, and beyond.  I am glad that it's conveniently native to Texas, a tough, drought-tolerant plant that was named a Texas Superstar back in 2011.  The flowers are beloved by both  hummingbirds and butterflies, and it also proffers small, red fruits that birds enjoy.

Turk's Cap can take most any soil, is heat resistant, and while it prefers some shade, can also thrive in the Texas sun.  Nevertheless, I've had a hard time growing it.  Only recently, in the last year or so, a plant actually thrived, then another, and now the birds have planted a few for me.  Their attempts have been more successful than mine; these photos are of a bird-sown specimen. 


In our area, it dies back in winter, to return usually stronger each spring.  I've read that the flowers and fruits and even the leaves are edible, but I've never personally tried them.  It took me so long to get the plants going; I'm not about to eat them!  But evidently, the fruits have a faint, apple-like flavor.  Perhaps one day, when I'm more confident, I will try a few.  I don't think the birds should mind; they have plenty.  Share and share alike!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Laura. I subscribed to your beautiful blog and I look forward to participating in I Heart Macro. I'm so very glad you stopped by!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Gunilla! Your website is gorgeous; the photos are amazing! I am eager to see the next batch!

  3. Do you know you have posted this post twice. Also, you have started word verification, now it seems. Were you driven crazy by spam? It constantly happens to my blog. Very irritating. Seems like these people have nothing else to do!!! Very nice plant and unique flowers. I don't think it will survive the winter of NJ; else, I was going to get it.

  4. KL, thanks for the heads-up! I did not realize the post posted twice until I had comments on both. As for word verification, I did not choose to start it and did not realize I have it. Interesting; I will need to look into it. I haven't had trouble with spam yet; I think my readership still has some growing to do before that becomes an issue for me.

    I think you're right about Turk's Cap not surviving your winter. Ah, to have a real winter; it's not a bad trade-off.