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Hort in the Home Landscape

A blog devoted to sharing timely horticulture topics and answering the questions of gardeners and homeowners.
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Plant of the Week: Turk's Cap

I discovered this week's Plant of the Week while checking out the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin last week during a conference. I had seen this plant several places around town and finally found one with a sign that I could identify it with it at the garden. 

Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus drummondii) is a Texas native that grows in sandy low grounds near streams, limestone slopes around wooded creeks and even palm groves. In Texas this plant is an evergreen  or herbaceous perennial that is hardy to zone 7, so unfortunately one that we can't grow as a perennial here in Illinois. I would really like to try this as a flowering annual plant though!
What drew me to the plant were the bright red flowers that several hummingbirds were enjoying when I was in the garden. I could tell looking at the flowers that the plant was going to be in the Mallow family based on the hibiscus like flowers. The bright red flowers are twisted into a tube showing extended red stamens protruding from the whorl. Really cool! This would be a great addition to any hummingbird garden. 
Learn more here

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