Manzanilla (Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii)

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Mexican Apple (Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii) is the tropical fruit gardener’s respite from the aching nostalgia of traditional apple orchards. It is native to the high elevation cloud forests of Mexico and Colombia, and can be found in subtropical Texas and Florida. This shrubby perennial can be the apple of your inner forager’s eye, with year-round harvests of bright red flowers and bushels of tender, green leaves. You may recognize the flowers for its trademark similarities to more commonly familiar plants in the hibiscus family. Towards the end of the summer, flowers will give way to red, marble-sized fruits that boast a light tanginess and mealy texture that are similar to apples.

Grow Mexican Apple for an easygoing, edible plant with a tropical twist.  Its native cloud forest habitats are a good reminder that this low-growing plant thrives in part-shade in warm growing zones, but appreciates more moderate sun exposure in cooler zones. Eat the flowers raw, or dry and store them for teas and tisanes. Harvest bundles of Mexican Apple leaves before winter for a fuzzy, tender alternative to spinach. 

Photos: Wildflower.org

Plant Type:
Perennial Fruiting Shrub

Harvest Season:
Flowers and leaves: Year-round,

Fruit: Late Summer

Mature Size:
Up to 6 ft. tall

Soil & Moisture:
Drought-tolerant, Prefers well-drained soil

Light Requirements:
Part Shade in Tropical Areas
Full Sun in Northern Zones

Self-Fertile:
Yes

Growth Rate:
Fast, Very Fast

Zone Hardiness:
Outdoors 9-11 with frost protection; Patio/Greenhouse 4+

Propagation:
Our Turks Cap is grown from cutting, capable of harvest within growing season 

5.0
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1 review
  • BB
    Brandon B.
    Flag of United States
    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    9 months ago
    It came very well-packaged and

    It came very well-packaged and healthy. Looking forward to seeing it grow.

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