Imagine my delight when I spotted one in the garden of this house when we moved in! I hadn't seen one for so long, it was like meeting up with an old familiar friend.
It's a large shrub that can grow to 12 feet in height and in width and bears big mid-green leaves. It never really looks very tidy ... unless you prune it into shape. I prefer the untidy, scraggly look ... seems more natural to me.
It will grow in a lightly shaded to mostly sunny location ... mine is growing in a position that is shaded from the hot afternoon sun. This shrub will survive drought conditions and periods of monsoonal rainfall ... so well suited to my garden. High levels of humidity and filtered sun will produce the best display of blooms ...
and the blooms are the most fascinating thing about this plant.
Malvaviscus arboreus can be referred to by a whole range of common names - Turk's Cap Hibiscus, Mexican Turk's Cap, Sleepy Hibiscus, Lipstick Hibiscus. Actually I remember calling it the Lipstick Hibiscus as a child ... I think I prefer that common name more.