Turks Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var.drummondii) is a perfect deciduous perennial shrub for shady areas with  bright red flowers resembling a Turks Cap, hence its name.  Part of the mallow family, the flowers never fully open but attract butterflies and bees.  The 2’ to 3’ wide spreading shrub can reach up to 9 feet, is drought tolerant and blooms from May until November.  The leaves and flowers are edible, either raw or cooked.  The fruit is ripe when it is dark reddish-orange with no white skin present. These fruit taste like apples but with very little tartness, mainly just a light sweetness. They and their seeds can be eaten raw, though the seeds are better if lightly toasted. The berries can also be made into jelly, jam, wine, or dehydrated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Read more about Turk’s cap at the Lady Bird Johnson website here . 

July 16, 2017 , Sonia Smith