Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Malvaviscus arboreus

Turkscap, Wax mallow, Bleeding hearts, Mexican apple, Manzanilla

Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Malvaviscus arboreus (Turkscap)
Lytle, Melody
A coarse shrub, upper stems greenish and velvety to the touch, woody near the base. Occasional in light shade near streams. Leaves, including petioles, up to 5 inches or more long; blades as broad as long, broadly heart shaped to weakly 3 lobed, with broad teeth, upper surface dark green, lower surface lighter and velvety, palmately veined. Flowers showy, petals bright red, overlapping, 1 inch or more long, pistil and stamens forming a column protruding 3/4 inch beyond the petals, appearing mostly in late summer and fall. Fruit red, a 5 lobed capsule cupped in green remnants of the flower.

Turk’s Cap is a member of the mallow family (family Malvaceae), which includes herbs, shrubs, and rarely small trees. There are about 85 genera and 1,500 species, many in tropical America. Okra and the plant that produces cotton are also in this family.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Palmate
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AL , AR , FL , GA , HI , LA , MS , NC , SC , TX
Native Distribution: Introduced and local in the southeastern U.S., from Texas to North Carolina and south to the Florida Keys.
Native Habitat: Disturbed areas.


Deer Resistant: Moderate

Last Update: 2013-09-08