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Turks-cap mallow, Malvaviscus penduliflorus

Q: I am seeing a rather large shrub right now which has red, flowers. What is it?

Q: I am seeing a rather large shrub right now which has red, flowers.  The do not spread open, but hang down.  It reminds me of a hibiscus that never opens.

A:  I believe you are describing Turks-cap mallow, Malvaviscus penduliflorus. It is very easy to grow, tolerates most any type of soil but blooms best when exposed to full sun. In our area, it is a true perennial which means it will die back in the winter but should return once temperatures become warm.  It is in the mallow family which explains why it reminds you of a hibiscus.  Some people have called it the sleeping hibiscus.  The flowers will always hang down and never open up fully – they are supposed to droop, which is why the species name is penduliflorus.  I have roughly translated penduliflorus to mean – hanging flower.