This week, my afternoon Botanical Drawing students did watercolor studies of Turk’s Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus). A tough little cousin of okra, cotton and hibiscus, it springs up abundantly along fences and under trees, in roadside ditches and on unmowed lawns in our part of the country. Alabama gardeners tend to regard it as a benign weed. Others seem to prize it a little more highly: it was named Plant of the Month for June by the Native Plant Society of Texas. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center even provides detailed instructions for propogating Turk’s Cap from seed. I don’t need any tutorials; at the back of my studio cottage, new plants seem to materialize from the air. I have noticed that pollinator insects like the furled, red crepe-paper blooms. Maybe these small creatures, unconcerned with labels, share the wise opinion of Eeyore, offered in Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne:
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.