fbpx Rose-of-Sharon | The Morton Arboretum


Summer flowers of rose-of-Sharon.

Rose-of-Sharon is an upright, narrow shrub or small tree valued for its mid-summer to late season prolific blooms. A wide range of flower colors vary by cultivar. Plants are late to leaf out in the spring. This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.


Botanical name:

Hibiscus syriacus

All common names:

Rose-of-Sharon; shrubby althea

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Foundation,
  • Hedge,
  • Massing,
  • Mixed border,
  • Screen,
  • Shade tree,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Compact tree (10-15 feet),
  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
  • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Alkaline soil,
  • Clay soil,
  • Road salt

Seasons of Interest:

  • late spring,
  • midsummer,
  • late summer

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Blue,
  • Other,
  • Pink,
  • Purple,
  • Red,
  • White

Shape or Form:

  • Columnar,
  • Multi-stemmed,
  • Narrow,
  • Upright,
  • Vase-shaped

Growth Rate:

  • Moderate

More Information:

Tree & Plant Care

A shrub with many cultivars resulting in a wide variety of heights and flower colors.
Grows in most soil conditions except extrememly wet, but prefers one with plenty of organic matter.
Best in moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade.
Prune back heavily in spring to promote best summer flowers.
One of the last shrubs to leaf out in the spring.

Disease, pests, and problems

Leaf spots, stem cankers, rust, flower blights.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Tolerant of salt and black walnut toxicity.

Native geographic location and habitat

China, India

Attracts birds & butterflies

Butterflies and hummingbird appear at the flowers.

Bark color and texture 

Gray to tan, rounded stems.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Alternate, palmately veined, three-lobed, medium green leaves up to 4” long.
Late to leaf out in the spring. 

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Showy, 5-petaled flowers up to 3 inches in diameter appear on new seasons growth in early-summer and bloom into late fall.
Each hollyhock-like flower has a prominent and showy center column of stamens.
Flowers can be single or double in several shades of red, pink, rose, violet-blue, white and red-violet. 

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

A dehiscent capsule, turning brown and persistent through winter.
Seed capsules can be removed after flowering to prevent reseeding.

Cultivars and their differences

Blue Satin™ (Hibiscus syriacus 'Matilde'): Single pink flower with a soft blush and red eye
Bali Rose (Hibiscus syriacus 'Minifren'): Semi-double white flower with purple-red center, 6 to 8 feet high
Helene (Hibiscus syriacus 'Helene'): Single white flower with reddish-purple blush in center, 8 to 10 feet high
Lavender Chiffon (Hibiscus syriacus 'Notwoodone'): Single lavender flower with lacy center, 8 to 10 feet high
Tahiti (Hibiscus syriacus 'Mineru'): Semi-double pink flower with red center, 6 to 8 feet high

Location of Hibiscus syriacus (Rose-of-Sharon) at the Arboretum