Characteristics of Sharon Flower Tree (Hibiscus syriacus) in the Wild

Hibiscus syriacus
Sharon or Korean Rose (Hibiscus syriacus) is a flowering plant of the Hibiscus genus and the Malvaceae family. The tree is widely grown in Asia, especially in regions with warm summers.

Sharon flower is the national flower of South Korea. The flowers do not have a festive look or smell good, so they look ordinary. Even so, this flower is considered to reflect the national character of the Korean people. For Koreans, the Sharon flower symbolizes perseverance, gentleness, and determination. Sharon was chosen as the national flower by the Korean people during the Japanese occupation (1910-1945) and was widely planted as a symbol of resistance to advocate for independence. Sharon flowers bloom from July to October and each flower can be fresh for days. This trait inspired the Korean people at a time of suffering due to colonialism.

In Korea, the Sharon flower is known as Mugunghwa (무궁화). Mature Sharon trees can tolerate a variety of conditions, including frost, drought, and urban pollution. However, the tree does best in warm, sheltered areas, with neutral well-drained soil and full sun.

There are many cultivars of beautiful Sharon flowers and have received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit, such as Notwoodone, Notwoodtwo, Notwood3, Diana, Hamabo, Meehanii, Oiseau Bleu, Red Heart, William R. Smith, and Woodbridge.

Sharon flowers were also introduced to Europe in the early 16th century and the following decades to many other countries. By the 18th century, the Sharon flower tree had become a common ornamental plant in British gardens and North America.


Characteristics of Sharon Leaf

Hibiscus syriacus Leaf

The leaves are green or yellowish-green, alternate, wide ovate, veined in the palms, and about 7.5 cm long. The leaf blade has three distinct lobes with rough-toothed margins.


Characteristics of Sharon Flower

Hibiscus syriacus Flower

Sharon flowers have 5 petals up to 7.5 cm in diameter in solid colors like white, red, purple, lilac, purple, or blue, or bicolours. The flowers can bloom continuously from July to September (depending on the region), usually starting at night.


Characteristics of Sharon Fruit

The fruit is green or brown, with a 5-valve dehiscent capsule ornament, and lasts all winter. The fruit will break apart during the dormancy of the tree and spread their germinating seeds around the base of the mother plant, forming colonies over time.

Most modern cultivars produce almost no fruit.


Characteristics of Sharon Tree

Hibiscus syriacus Tree

Sharon flower trees can grow to 2-4 meters tall, with thin gray branches, speckled white, and leaf scars. The trunk does not have many branches (unless regularly pruned).

This tree is very tolerant of air pollution, heat, humidity, poor soil, and drought. Sharon flower trees have naturalized very well in many suburban areas, and can even be called slightly invasive, as the seeds can germinate and grow rapidly.


Sharon flower trees are easily propagated from seedlings, or you can also cuttings from stems. They do not require special treatment and can grow in a short time.


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