Friday, August 10, 2007

Hibiscus syriacus, aka Rose of Sharon in North America

From Wikipedia: "The Rose of Sharon is a flower of uncertain identity mentioned in English language translations of the Bible. The word in question is the Hebrew חבצלת ḥăḇaṣṣeleṯ, which has been uncertainly linked to the words בצל beṣel, meaning 'bulb', and חמץ ḥāmaṣ, which is understood as meaning either 'pungent' or 'splendid' (The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon). The name first appears in 1611, when it was used in the King James Version of the Bible. According to an annotation at Song of Solomon 2.1 by the translation committee of the New Revised Standard Version, this is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word for "crocus". Different scholars have suggested that the biblical "Rose of Sharon" is one of the following plants:

* A "kind of crocus" ("Sharon", Harper's Bible Dictionary) or a "crocus that grows in the coastal plain of Sharon" (New Oxford Annotated Bible);
* Tulipa montana, "a bright red tulip-like flower . . . today prolific in the hills of Sharon" ("rose", Harper's Bible Dictionary);
* Tulipa agenensis, the Sharon tulip, a species of tulip suggested by a few botanists; or
* Lilium candidum, more commonly known as the Madonna lily, a species of lily suggested by some botanists, though likely in reference to the "lily of the valleys" mentioned in the second part of Song of Solomon 2.1."


Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Very interesting! Beautiful photos as always.

Ki said...

Thank you IGW. A rather common flower but it was interesting in the dark and steamy morning. The double petal forms are ruffled and rather nice.

DeeMom said...

Love the history part so much KI. Photos are awesome

joey said...

Hard to choose which of your blogs to comment on ... enjoy them all. Keep shooting, Ki!

Thanks for your visit. I especially appreciate your thoughts since my post was hurried, hustling OOT for a family emergency.

A wildlife gardener said...

A splendiferous specimen, whatever the origins of its name..quite exquisite and exotic-looking.

Ki said...

Thanks Deemom, I was curious about the name so I did a little search. I thought it interesting that the flower is called Rose of Sharon only in North America.

Hi Joey,
Thanks for the compliment. My photo of the Rose of Sharon is not up to the quality of yours but the morning was dark, dreary and breezy, difficult conditions to get a good photo.

Thanks for stopping by and hope the emergency turned out OK.


Thank you Wildlife Gardener. I guess that's a good reason to stick with the Latin names for consistency's sake. lose out on colorful local names which maybe more descriptive so....
Thanks for the comment and compliment.

Jill said...

Great one! I learned about these several years ago. Pretty!

Ki said...

Thanks Jill,
There are the single flower form but I like the double ones better. There is the blue/purple pink variant in the same spot as this white one. I thought a took a picture of that one as well but I don't see it in my photos so I'll have to take a picture of it again as I think it is beautiful also. The flower turns from pink to blue as it fades.