Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.
Native to central and southern United States and northern Mexico, this member of the mallow family (Malvaceae) is an attractive and tough ground-cover plant.
Procumbent (sprawling) stems emerge from a long, fleshy tap root and fan out over the ground, sneaking between other plants and creating a convenient mat of fine foliage—which is exactly what it can be seen doing in one of the central beds in our Wild Garden, portrayed in this next shot..
Its magenta, cup-like flowers appear from late spring into early summer, but will often show up at intervals later in the season.
Another common name for the plant is “winecups, ” alluding to the shape of the flowers and, supposedly, their wine-like color.