Hibiscus syriacus

(Rose of Sharon)

In my first garden we had a beautiful violet blue one. Here I have this gorgeous pinky purple specimen. I have also seen white ones, with a pink centre. The leaves are a pale, fresh green, and the shrub’s upright growth means the flowers are shown off proudly to their full extent, attracting lots of bees and insects.

It is the national flower of Korea, and originally comes from Asia. Each indivudual flower lasts only a day, but there are hundreds of them!

This is another one in my garden… also a pinky lavender colour, but with double flowers…

The greenery doesn’t appear until very late – mid May perhaps. Then the flowers are a wonderful splash of colour late in the year, flowering from the end of July through August, and sometimes even into September. The shrub loves heat and tolerates drought.

The common name “Rose of Sharon” is probably a mistranslation. Originally the Hibiscus flower was believed to come from Syria (hence “syriacus”). The rose of Sharon in the bible was probably a tulip or crocus. In some parts of the world the Rose of Sharon refers to other plants, such as Hypericum (St John’s Wort).