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Common Name:

Giant Turk's Cap

Scientific Name:

Malvaviscus arboreus var. mexicanus

Family Name:



Giant Turk's Cap is a subtropical perennial or woody shrub often planted as a summer annual in cooler regions. The dark green leaves contrast with the large drooping red blossoms.

Plant Habit or Use:

Warm season annual, perennial, small shrub, medium shrub, tropical


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Bright red, rarely white

Blooming Period:

Spring, summer, fall

Fruit Characteristics:

Red berry-like fruit, wildlife food


7 ft to 9 ft in subtropics, smaller as an annual


3 ft to 4 ft, spreading over time

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Medium Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Less cold and shade tolerant than M. arboreus var. drummondii, but leaves do not distort in sunny locations.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.