mexicanus | Cardinals Hat, Mazapan, Nodding Hibiscus, Sleeping
Hibiscus, Turk's Cap, Giant Mexican Turk's-Cap
Malvaviscus arboreus is native from Mexico to Columbia, but it
has naturalized in areas of the southern US, and other parts of the
world. It's commonly called the sleeping or nodding hibiscus because
the flowers do not open fully —they resemble wilted, downward
hanging hibiscus flowers. Open or not, its still a worthy subject
for the garden.
Malvaviscus arboreus has previously been known as: M.
penduliflorus, M. conzatti, M. mexicanus, M. grandiflorus and M.
mollis. This is a variable species that includes a few subspecies
and varieties. It grows to 3m tall and almost as wide, bearing red,
fleshy fruits along with the pendulous flowers. Varieties are
available with red, pink, white or light pink flowers. Malvaviscus
arboreus comes from warm, humid climates but also thrives in
subtropical frost-free areas. They need well-drained soil and
supplemental summer watering in dry climates.