Rose Althea, Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus

shrub of the family Malvaceae

Etymology: The name derives from the Greek ibiskos Hibiscus, which means the marshmallow, used by the famous Greek pharmacologist Dioscorides.
Origin: India, China
Habitat: Rose Althea or Rose of Sharon prefers semi-shade exposure, light, sun and well drained and fairly rich soil.
Hardiness: Zone 6 (it supports cold to -23 °). Not to be confused with other Hibiscus, as Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Hibiscus Rose of China (long pistil and large flowers with very bright colors), which is tropical and can not stand temperatures below 12 ° C.
Growth: Fast.
Maximum size: 3 m tall.
Form: spread, flared.
Deciduous maybe persistent in hot climates. The leaves appear relatively late, mid or late spring.
Flowers August to October. Some varieties have double flowers therefore abundantly provided in petals and the colors vary from white to red, to pink, purple, the color lavender, purple and blue. The flowers are short lived, lasting only a few days but new ones appear regularly.
Fruits: capsules containing small seeds. The capsule, bursting expels the seeds germinate readily in soil.
Usage: Rose Althea or Rose of Sharon is a very decorative shrub, with its abundant flowering which renews itself over a long period. It is planted in isolated solid (as it has spreading) or trimmed hedge or free.
Hibiscus syriacus is the national flower of South Korea. The name of the flower in Mugunghwa Korean (Hangul; Hanja). The symbolic meaning of this flower comes from the Korean word mugung, meaning "immortality."

Tropical Hibiscus is used for food and medicinal plants: in Thailand, as an aphrodisiac, in Taiwan, as a laxative, in Papua, as a diuretic, in China, as a sedative for hypertension and in Egypt, as herbal tea (carcadé of Egypt or red tea of Egypt). One uses dried hibiscus flowers brought to a boil 5 minutes with water and sugar into a syrup, which is drunk, mixed with fresh water. One may also infuse the flowers in hot water, like tea. Dark red, the carcadé can be drunk cold or hot.

Language of Flowers: offering Hibiscus is a sign of desire (the upright pistil is unequivocal).

Maintenance Tips: prune your Rose Althea to prevent it stretches too messy and loses its leaves at the base, lacking of light.
Remove seed pods as they form as they burst and scatter seeds that germinate and invade the low hedges. If you have varieties of Althea with various colors, you will soon see new plants in color that you do not necessarily want to see grow up in that corner of your garden.
So remove these seed pods by cutting short the branches of the year to 1 cm from the junction of departure. The althea flowers on young shoots of the year, so nothing is too much wood to keep the previous year.
When to prune? - Septembre-October-November

Propagation methods: vegetative cuttings (cuttings with heel, 10 cm long, collected from July to September), grafting, layering, if issued. The Rose Althea is easily sown, but to preserve the characteristics of a variety, it is best to practice cuttings or layering.


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