How to Identify Rose of Sharon Plants

Written by elizabeth punke
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How to Identify Rose of Sharon Plants
Lavender rose of Sharon flower. (hibiscus image by photlook from

The rose of Sharon plant, or hibiscus syriacus, as it is referred to scientifically, is a flowering bush that provides colour and shade for ornamental patios and landscapes. The rose of Sharon is not a true rose, but a hibiscus, a flowering bush that is native to tropical areas of the world. The hibiscus syriacus is also the national flower of South Korea.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Measuring tape

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  1. 1

    Examine the location for the bush in question. The rose of Sharon flowering bush comes from a tropical genus of flower. The rose of Sharon will only survive in areas that remain above -28.8 degrees Celsius in the winter. This will prevent growth from occurring in places such as Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Michigan and Maine, to name a few.

  2. 2

    Measure the overall height of the bush. Rose of Sharon plants grow from 8 to 12 feet. Some similar bushes, such as the hibiscus radiatus, will reach heights of only 3 to 4 feet, even though the flower formation is comparable.

  3. 3

    Note the flower orientation of the hibiscus syriacus. Flowers tend to emerge tightly bound, followed by a complete opening once summer has arrived. Flowers consist of six to 10 petals, depending on the individual species. The colour variations are sometimes extreme and other times subtle.

  4. 4

    See the diverse petal colours on the hibiscus syriacus. Rose of Sharon petals are typically found in soft tones of pink, lavender and blue, with white and red being the exceptions. When a two-tone colouration is spotted, a dark colour, such as red, will encircle the inner ring of the flower while a lighter colour, like white, will dominate the outer edges.

  5. 5

    Identify the fruit that appears on the rose of Sharon bush once the flowers have fallen. The dark brown fruit is no more than 1 inch in length, and is covered in a thick, hard shell. The fruit will cover the bush densely, as the flowers had during summer, yet typically will not attract wildlife.

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