Looking for a good addition to your rock garden or dry sunny spot? The winecups (or purple poppy mallow) are a less common yet very attractive plant, hardy to zones 4 through 8.
Native to the southwestern and western states, this low spreading vine grows in dry prairies, along roadsides and in open fields. It is not a plant you see very often in the mid-western and northern states, although it is not prone to disease, requires little care and does very well in drought conditions. The flowers are very pretty, as you can see, spreading daintily on long stems with fringed leaves. Once established, the clump will grow and spread, but transplant is difficult because of the plant’s tap root.
It is a wonderful perennial plant, combining beautiful flowers, interesting foliage, a low growth perfect for the front of the border (it grows only 6 to 12 inches tall), great resistance to drought, and repeat bloom. The downside, rodents think that the foliage and the roots taste great!
Winecups look delicate and fragile, but don’t forget this plant grows wild in the dry southwestern plains, it will do well without lots of pampering. It self-sows freely, so deadhead if you don’t want additional plants. You can also propagate it by taking cuttings.