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Rose Of Sharon:  What's in a Name, Anyway

By Sharon
August 30, 2015

A rose is a rose unless it's a Rose of Sharon, and then it's a hibiscus. Some say it's the name of a crocus and others swear it's the name of a tulip and then there's some confusion with the lily of the valley. Poor plant, most likely it lives in a state of constant identity crisis, never knowing on which side of the garden it should grow.

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Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
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grannysgarden
Aug 30, 2015 7:38 AM CST
Great article, Sharon, and very informative. It was called an Althea where I grew up. I did not hear the name Rose of Sharon applied to it until I was a teenager. It is an almost indestructible plant here and survives anything nature and man can throw at it.

One of my earliest memories of the ROS shrub was watching the bumblebees hum from blossom to blossom. One day I was overcome with the impulse to gently close the petals up on the bumble creating a cage with him inside. He buzzed loudly as I stood there in sheer panic with my small fingers keeping the petals from opening. Then, knowing that I could not stand there forever, I took off like a wild hare, barefooted, across the garden like the devil himself was on my heels. When I discovered that I was not being followed I felt very brave but I did not do that again. smiles
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Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
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rocklady
Aug 30, 2015 10:02 AM CST
@grannysgarden You were fortunate that he didn't enlist his fellow bees to follow you. Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious!
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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Horntoad
Aug 30, 2015 10:47 AM CST
I grew up calling this Althea and didn't hear Rose of Sharon until I was an adult. I just found out in the last few years that it was a Hibiscus, so naturally it's part of my collection now. It grows well here in zone 9 also.
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[Last edited by Horntoad - Aug 30, 2015 11:30 AM (+)]
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Aug 30, 2015 11:28 AM CST
Funny, I didn't hear the name Althea until I was an adult. It was always Rose of Sharon in my neck of the woods. Either way, it's a lovely strong shrub. I say shrub but mine has been untended for a couple of years and has grown past the roof/gutter line well into my climbing Peggy Martin Rose and Bald Cypress tree. My fault but I just can't bring myself to prune it right now it is so beautiful. This is a little late in the day picture of fierce determination. Also shows the mixed colors on the shrub.

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Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Aug 30, 2015 5:34 PM CST
I agree, very interesting info, Sharon. I was given some cuttings by a friend who called them Althea, and didn't find out about the Rose of Sharon name until I looked it up, probably on DG.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Aug 30, 2015 5:37 PM CST
Thanks Renee! I hope yours are still growing.
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Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Aug 30, 2015 6:03 PM CST
One of them is growing and blooming like crazy. The others didn't get enough sun and didn't make it. The woods closed in on them.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Aug 30, 2015 6:06 PM CST
But that also leaves you with one you can take cuttings from!
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Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Aug 30, 2015 6:16 PM CST
Yes! Hurray!

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