Herbs & Plants

Callirhoe involucrata

Botanical Name: Callirhoe involucrata
Family: Malvaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales
Genus: Callirhoe
Species: C. involucrata

*Callirhoe geranioides Small
*Callirhoe lineariloba (Torr. & A.Gray) A.Gray
*Callirhoe macrostegia Hochr.
*Callirhoe palmata Buckley
*Callirhoe sidalceoides Standl.
*Callirhoe verticillata Groenl.
*Malva involucrata Torr. & A. Gray
*Malva lineariloba (Torr. & A. Gray) M.J. Young

Common Names: Purple poppy-mallow, Poppy Mallow, Winecup, Finger Poppy Mallow

Habitat: Callirhoe involucrata is native to the United States and northern Mexico. It grows in dry soils on the plains. Sandy, eroding dry ground and roadsides in Texas.

Callirhoe involucrata is a perennial herb, growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).

The rounded, hairy leaves are deeply palmately lobed, and unlike most heat and drought-tolerant plants, are deep green rather than grey or silver. In spring, the foliage emerges from the long, woody tap root that can be up to 5 inches in diameter, with the ground-hugging stems eventually growing about 3 feet long.

The magenta-colored, chalice-shaped flowers are 1½ -2½ inches wide with a white spot at the base of the five petals. The solitary, upward-facing blossoms open in the morning, close in the evening and remain closed after pollination. Fruits consist of 15-25 kidney-shaped segments stacked together, with each segment containing a single seed.


Callirhoe involucrata prefers a light rich sandy loam and a sunny position. Likes a hot dry position[200], growing well on a dry sunny bank. This species is hardy to about -15°c. A deep-rooting plant[235], it strongly resents root disturbance and should be planted into its final position as soon as possible. Slugs are strongly attracted to this plant and can destroy even established plants by eating out all the young shoots in spring. Special Features: North American native, Naturalizing, Extended bloom season in Zones 9A and above. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 7 through 1. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of “heat days” experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form – tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a clumper with limited spread . The root pattern is a tap root similar to a carrot going directly down.

Through seed – sow outdoors or in a cold frame. Plants resent root disturbance so the seed is best sown in situ in April, though the slugs will have a field day if you do not protect the plants. If seed is in short supply then sow it in pots in a cold frame, putting a few seeds in each pot, and plant the pots out in early summer once the plants have put on at least 15cm of growth. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 6 months at 15°c. Cuttings of young basal shoots in a frame in sand. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Division. With care since the plant resents root disturbance. We have found that it is best not to disturb this plant and so do not try to divide it, relying instead on taking basal cuttings since these do not disturb the main clump.

Edible Uses:
Roots are cooked and eaten. The root is long and tapering, it is sweet and starchy with a pleasant taste somewhat like that of a sweet potato. Leaves are cooked and eaten. A pleasant flavour with a mucilaginous texture, they are good for thickening soups also.

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the root is used to treat internal pain. The root was also dried, then burnt and the smoke either inhaled or allowed to bathe the affected part of the body.

Other Uses:The plant is used in landscaping. Border, Ground cover, Rock garden.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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