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Turks's Cap Hibiscus
An upright, bushy shrub native to Central America and growing to 4m, with bright red, drooping whorls for flowers which are produced almost year round.
The flowers are edible, sweet and delicious, having a slight mucilaginous texture and containing a large drop of nectar at the base. Great to add color to a salad or as a snack while you are walking around the garden. Our son Finn loves them.
There is another closely related species, Malvaviscus arboreus, which goes by the same name but is a lower growing shrub. It has the potential to spread in warmer areas, but the species we have is a more upright and easier to manage plant.
Turk’s Cap Hibiscus responds well to pruning, and can be used as a chop and drop support species. It does not need much in the way of feeding and can handle dry conditions, but it probably doesn’t handle more than a light frost.
It will grow happily in full sun or part shade, making it a great plant for the early stages of a food forest or in the understorey of an established one.