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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Rose of Sharon - A rose with multiple identities

After posting a blue hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus) it was pointed out to me that one of its common names was Rose of Sharon.
Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)
The name sounded familiar so I looked it up and sure enough aside for finding out that other flowers have been given that name to the confusion of people, there among the flowers sharing the name was the one that I photographed before (Hypericum calycinum).

Rose of Sharon Hypericum calycinum
The name has biblical roots and is first mentioned in the King James bible of 1611. Aside from scholarly discussion as to errors in that translation there is also much discussion as to which flower the original passage referred to. Among the contenders are the Madonna Lily (Lilium candidum) and the Sea Daffodil (Pancratium maritimum), neither of which I have any photos although you can easily do a search on the internet if you desperately want to see what they look like.

Today the two flowers above are also known as Rose of Sharon. For the Hibiscus syriacus several cultivars exist which go by the following names 'Diana' (pure white), 'Oiseau Bleu' (blue-violet with maroon centre), 'Hamabo' (pale pink with deep red centre), 'Red Heart' (white with deep red centre), 'Woodridge' (deep pink), 'Lavender Chiffon' (pale lilac)

I think it would be safe to say that the blue one is "Oiseau Bleu' and this one below is Lavender Chiffon.
Hibiscus syriacus
Such confusion is just one reason that illustrates the importance of finding out and using the binomial/scientific names although it does not preclude the use of the common/vernacular names. In fact it helps to know what other names a plant might have since in many cases aside from some common names having no bearing on each other in other languages languages (i.e. the translation is not literal) there a re many cases of plants being given different names by people of different regions speaking the same language or even people in the same place simply knowing a plant by completely different common names.


Jan Harker Reyes: identification of Hibiscus syriacus as Rose of Sharon

Additional Information:

Binomial Name: Hibiscus syriacus Taxonomy: Phylum: Angiosperms– Class: Eudicots –  Unranked: Rosids   Order: Malavales– Family: Malvaceae – Genus: Hibiscus – Species: H. Syriacus Common names: Rose of Sharon, Rose Mallow, St Jospeh’s rod (English); Hibiscus syriacus (French); Rosa de Siria (Spanish); Ibisco cinese (Italian) Tuinhibiscus (Dutch); Straucheibisch, Scharonrose, Syrischer Eibisch, Garteneibisch, Festblume(German)

Binomial Name: Hypericum calycinum Taxonomy: Phylum: Angiosperms– Class: Eudicots –  Unranked: Rosids   Order: Malpighiales – Family: Hypericaceae – Genus: Hypericum – Species: H. Calycium Common names: Rose of Sharon, Aaron’s Beard, Great St-John’s wort, Jerusalem Star (English); Millepertuis à grandes fleurs (French); Großkelchige Johanniskraut (German)

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