Hibiscus syriacus 'Minerva'
Rose of Sharon
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Family: Mallow Family (Malvaceae)
Native Habitat: China and Japan

General Hibiscus syriacus Info:
One of the best known flowering shrubs grown in American gardens is Rose of Sharon. A symbol of summer, it bursts into bloom as the hottest days of the year arrive. An upright, multi-stemmed, large shrub, its large five-petaled flowers come in shades of purple, violet and red as well as white. They often have flower centers (eyes) of a darker color. Flowering usually begins in July and depending upon variety may last well into September or even until frost.

A breeding program at the U.S. National Arboretum begun during the 1960's resulted in four varieties that we feel are still among the very best Rose of Sharon varieties. Named after classical Greek and Roman goddesses, they are the longest blooming varieties available due to the fact that they are sterile hybrids that do not set seed. Another benefit of their sterility is that no volunteer seedlings are produced, which is a minor irritant of other varieties.

This Variety:
In ancient Rome the goddess Minerva apparently did it all. She was the virgin goddess of warriors, poetry, medicine, commerce and crafts. Besides all that she must have had the time to invent music for the Romans credited her with that as well. Even a Hibiscus variety as exquisite as 'Minerva' has a hard time living up to that name. Never the less she is one of the best.

Ornamental Characteristics: Leathery, semiglossy, dark green leaves. Lavender flowers with traces of pink overlay toward the center and reverse of petals; dark red eye spot. Flowers are up to 5" across. Blooms from early July until frost. Yellow fall color.
Habit & Growth Rate: Slow to medium growth rate. Grows to 8 ft. high and wide after many years.
Landscape Uses: Shrub border. Specimen. Screening. Container plant. Deer resistant.
Hardiness: Zone 5 to 8.
Culture: Easy. Full sun to light shade. Flowering heaviest and growth more compact when grown in full sun. Average garden soil.