||shrubs|height 2-6'|spread 3-5"|full sun/shade|red flowers Spring to Fall|attracts hummingbirds/butterflies||
Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus drummondii)
This hardy perennial thrives in mixed to dense shade, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies who can't resist the generous display of bright scarlet flowers. We have seen Gulf Frittelary sipping on the flowers, then flitting over to nearby Passiflora vines to lay their eggs.
This is a good plant choice if you are looking for masses of color over an extended season. The plant colonizes large areas by sending out root sprouts and can become invasive when conditions are favorable. The unripe fruit of the plant is edible, much like okra. Ripe fruit is readily eaten by wildlife.
Several cultivars are available - one nice selection also has varigated leaves. The plant freezes in winter but returns each year from thick, yellow roots. Turk's cap is deer resistant.