A Rose by Any Other Name

This is my neighbor’s hibiscus. These are not the ones you buy for indoor growing – the ones that almost always succumb to spider mites. This shrub is also known as “Rose of Sharon” here in New England. Like everything else, they are in flower early this year. Deer don’t like eating them – another reason for  their popularity here.

This plant is considered invasive, and I can understand why. Its seedlings sprout everywhere and you really have to stay on top of them. I have to keep pulling them out of my vegetable garden – easy when they’re small.

Hibiscus blossoms are usually pink or white. Some cultivars have very large flowers – a little too large, I think, but maybe that’s just me.

One good positive thing I can say about this plant is that it is an all-out pollen orgy for our bee and hummingbird friends. Here’s a shot of a bee so covered in pollen that you can barely make out her shape inside the flower.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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13 Responses to A Rose by Any Other Name

  1. cj wright says:

    That is absolutely stunning!


    • dirtynailz says:

      Yes, it is an attractive shrub. They are everywhere in our neighborhood. So you don’t have these where you live?


      • cj wright says:

        Mostly we have the hibiscus vines or “trees” that are seasonal. I’ve had a couple of perennials, but they only lasted about two years. I haven’t seen anything like that down here.


  2. herbdoc says:

    The only thing I don’t like about this shrub is that it leafs out so late in the spring. Half of the time I think it’s dead and then it miraculously recovers!


  3. That is absolutely gorgeous! I have one of these in my garden, but it’s still just a tiny thing. I had no idea it can get so big. I’ll have to keep an eye on it.


    • dirtynailz says:

      I don’t know how big it would grow where you live, Martha. I will tell you that the one in our yard is at least 20 feet tall.


  4. herbdoc says:

    N0, DN, I don’t. When your favorite plants are herbs, you kind of get used to it! 🙂


  5. herbdoc says:

    Funny you should ask! Rose of Sharon’s origins are in France and Spain. It is considered antifectious, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-hemmorrhagic, anti-inflammatory, supports the sympathetic nervous system and is an immune stimulant! Shephards in Biblical times used it for cuts and wounds. It is said to apply 2-4 drops on a location where you may have arthritis or inflammation, and my sources say it’s great for wrinkles when mixed with olive oil. As I like to say, there’s no such thing as a bad plant!


  6. herbdoc says:

    I’ve never tried the tincture, but this one is made from the seeds of the plant. All tinctures are made about the same way; the only thing that varies is the amount of “herb” and whether seeds, roots, bark or flowers are used. I would think you’d need about a fourth to a third of a quart canning jar of seeds, covered to the top with vodka or brandy. Always label the jar with the date, type of herb and type of menstrum (alcohol). Store in a dark, cool place and it will be ready in about 6 weeks. Then strain into amber dropper bottles, again carefully labeling, and store in a dark. cool place. For external use only! The flowers themselves can be dried and made into tea. Just be sure that you’re know exactly what you’re collecting, that it has not been sprayed and is in a pesticide free zone.


    • cj wright says:

      Thanks for these instructions, herbdoc. I bought some of these flowers in a heavy syrup. Unbelievably delicious, with a deep red color. Fantastic in champagne.


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