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In bloom at Botanica: Turk's cap

Botanical name: Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Location: Greenhouse

Description: A relative of the hibiscus that can be a perennial here only when the winter is mild. It features bright vermillion-red flowers twisted in a tube shape. In the shade, the slightly notched, bright green leaves lie flat. In the sun, the leaves have a textured appearance. Reaches a mature height and spread of 3 to 4 feet.

Growing tips: We have grown Turk's cap for two seasons as an annual and are testing it this winter to see if it will perennialize. Grows best in rich, well-drained soil in full sun or full shade.

Uses: Great specimen for a container. Makes a great addition to a shaded deck or patio garden. Can be used as a bedding plant in the growing season and can also be an attractive houseplant if given the proper conditions. Very attractive to hummingbirds, other birds and butterflies.

Also of interest: Pansies, hollies, junipers, pines.