Hibiscus syriacus / Rose of Sharon

Hibiscus syriacus ‘Lavender Chiffon’ (syn. ‘Notwoodone’) – This anemone-flowered sport was very nearly discarded at the production nursery where it was discovered. Thankfully, someone had the foresight to preserve this beautiful pale lavender semi-double hibiscus, which blooms August to October and averages 10-12′ tall by 4-6′ wide. Hardy to zone 5.

Hibiscus syriacus ‘Red Heart’ – A vigorous, older variety (introduced 1973) which deservedly won an RHS Award of Garden Merit in 2002. It features very large single flowers prominently marked with a deep red eye. The vigor can be controlled with spring pruning, as the flower buds develop on new wood. Grows 8-10′ high by 4-6′ wide. Hardy to zone 5.

hib1Hibiscus syriacus ‘Woodbridge’ – A well-loved cultivar that has graced our gardens since 1928 with its single deep rose flowers accented with a carmine center. ‘Woodbridge’ received an RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1938 and like most Rose of Sharon, prefers full sun and well-drained fertile soil.  Grows 8 to 10 feet high by 4 to 6 feet wide. Hardy to zone 5.

hib4Hibiscus syriacus ‘Marina’ (syn. Blue Satin) – This newer introduction is supposed to be an improvement on ‘Blue Bird’ – with a stronger growth habit and slightly richer coloured flowers. While the vigor is definitely better, I don’t see a lot of difference in the flower colour. That said, the purplish-blue single blooms with contrasting maroon eye are definitely exotic looking. Zone 5.

Hibiscus syriacus ‘White Chiffon’ (syn. ‘Notwoodtwo’) – Elegant pure white semi-double blossoms with an anemone form make this cultivar a must-have for the ‘Alba’ garden. ‘White Chiffon’ also has excellent vigor and produces flowers freely. As with all Hibiscus syriacus, this deciduous shrub attracts butterflies and has been shown to be deer-resistant. Hardy to zone 5.

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