Common name: Mexican Bush Mallow
Distribution: Native to Mexico
Growth Habit: This large shrub or small tree quickly grows to 15’ tall by 10’ wide. Nearly evergreen, palmately veined leaves are large and deeply lobed. Young shoots and twigs are covered in fine grayish hairs. Cranberry red to wine colored flowers emerge in clusters from the leave axils.
Cultural Requirements: Sun to part shade. Appreciates supplemental water but will not tolerate a consistently soggy root zone. Plant in well-drained soil in full sun with some supplemental irrigation for the best results. Organic mulch slowly feeds the soil and helps to keep the root zone from drying out. Tolerates light frosts.
Features/Uses: Great as an informal specimen shrub. Plant them in areas with winters too cold for tropical hibiscus. Flowers provide copious amounts of nectar almost all year, making this a favorite of bees and hummingbirds. Effective as screening provided that a sheared hedge is not what you’re after.
Bloom Time: Almost all year
Where at SDBG: Mexican Garden
Photos: Rachel Cobb