Finding Free Plants: Turk's Cap - Rescuing Neighborhood Plants

This morning my son and I were on a plant rescuing mission. I had spotted a beautiful Turk's Cap among the trees down the street from the land at a wooded lot neighboring wetland. Our neighborhood is beautiful, with large wooded areas and lots of wetland just a mile or two from a historic downtown, and the city is creeping out. Our old, African American neighborhood is being gentrified, and as this happens, we keep on seeing more and more surveyor's sticks. 


Turks Cap


When the builders come in, they clear the entire plot leaving it void of any native plants, trees and other vegetation.  This is why our family has been rescuing many native plants such as elderberry, lantana, muscadine grapes and while this Turk's Cap might not be native, it got rescued as well. We too will one day need to clear some of our land to build the new house, but we want to plant lots of native plants and trees around our home. 


Turks Cap



It is always a bit hazardous to rescue plants around here, and we usually start out with making lots of noise, jumping on the ground etc., in the hopes of scaring away snakes, especially rattle snakes and moccasins. Errrr...shaking just by the thought of it. Today it was like walking through a jungle to get to it, but I made it in there. The Turk's Cap was growing by the trunk of a tree, supported by a palmetto. I dug up what I could, but I also made sure to leave some of the plant remaining, just in case they do not demolish everything in sight.

Turks Cap

The Turk's Cap is native to the southern United States including Florida, and this Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus) is also known as Turkcap, Turk's turban, wax mallow, ladies teardrop and Scotchman's purse. It is in the hibiscus family, but contrary to the commonly known hibiscus, the Turk's Cap does not open up and hangs more like a tear drop. While this might not the native variety, it is a variety that is popping up around our neighborhood, so it likes the conditions here.

We sure hope this beautiful hibiscus plant will survive in its new home, and we also hope it will attract both butterflies, bees and humming birds to The Land.

Did you rescue any plants lately?