Hibiscus syriacus is a widely cultivated ornamental shrub in the genus Hibiscus. Common names include Rose of Sharon (especially in North America), Shrub Althea, and Rose of Althea.
It is a flowering shrub in the plant family Malvaceae native to much of Asia. It is vase-shaped, reaching 2-4 m in height. It is widely planted in areas with hot summers for its very attractive white, pink, red, lavender, or purple edible flowers. Individual flowers are short lived, lasting only a day. However, numerous flower buds are produced on the shrub's new growth, which provide prolific flowering over a long summer blooming period (July-September). Shoots make interesting indoor vase cuttings as they stay green for a long time. Some new flowers may open from the more mature flower buds. The species has naturalized very well in many suburban areas, and might even be termed slightly invasive, so frequently does it seed around.
Hibiscus syriacus is the national flower of South Korea. The flower appears in national emblems, and Korea is compared poetically to the flower in the South Korean national anthem. The flower's name in Korean is mugunghwa (Hangul: 무궁화; Hanja: 無窮花). The flower's symbolic significance stems from the Korean word mugung, which means "infinite".
See Also: gift basket, flower arrangement, flowers Barbados