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