Hibiscus syriacus • Rose of Sharon

Hibiscus syriacus •  Rose of Sharon  •  ムクゲ  •  槿  •  mukuge

We have only one Rose of Sharon in SJG, a native of Asia, about 7′ tall and growing in Area D, close to the fence.  It is well visible from the path when it flowers in fall, because its white flowers attract attention so late in the blooming season, when all the other blooms are over.  You cannot see it well from the path, but the white flowers have pretty dark red marks around the stamen (see the pic below).

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SJG • 8/22/12 – Hibiscus syriacus • Rose of Sharon; Area D

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SJG • 8/22/12 – Hibiscus syriacus • Rose of Sharon; FLOWER: white with red marks; Area D

From wikipediaHibiscus syriacus is a species of flowering plant in the family Malvaceae, native to much of Asia (though not, as Linnaeus thought, Syria, in spite of the name he gave it). Common names include Rose of Sharon (especially in North America), rose mallow (United Kingdom) and St Joseph’s rod (Italy). […]

Description: H. syriacus is a hardy deciduous shrub. It is upright and vase-shaped, reaching 2–4 m (7–13 ft) in height, bearing large trumpet-shaped dark pink flowers with prominent yellow-tipped white stamens. Individual flowers are short-lived, lasting only a day. However, numerous buds are produced on the shrub’s new growth, which provides prolific flowering over a long summer blooming period. Shoots make interesting indoor vase cuttings, as they stay green for a long time. In the vase some new flowers may open from the more mature buds. The species has naturalized very well in many suburban areas, and might even be termed slightly invasive, so frequently does it seed around. […]

Garden history:  Hibiscus syriacus has been a garden shrub in Korea since time immemorial; its leaves were brewed for a tisane and its flowers are eaten. It was grown in Europe from the 16th century, though as late as 1629 John Parkinson thought it was tender and took great precautions with it, thinking it “would not suffer to be uncovered in the Winter time, or yet abroad in the Garden, but kept in a large pot or tubbe in the house or in a warme cellar, if you would have them to thrive.”  By the end of the 17th century, some knew it to be hardy: Gibson, describing Lord Arlington’s London house noted six large earthen pots coddling the “tree hollyhock”, as he called it, “that grows well enough in the ground”.  By the 18th century the shrub was common in English gardens and in the American colonies, known as Althea frutex and “Syrian ketmia”. […]

! I grew a Rose of Sharon bush once,  in Boston area:  its flowers were pink, like in the wiki description above, with purplish marks. And it WAS invasive: I plucked the new growth from the lawn around the shrub all the time, and put those babies in separate pots (strong, easy to transplate long roots): had more seedlings than I knew what to do with…

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