White and pink rose of Sharon
Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), ‘Red Heart’ cultivar

I always wondered how these bushes of flowers survived the harsh New Jersey winters because I was always pretty sure that a hibiscus was a tropical kind of plant.

I just found out that my confusion arose because it’s called a Rose of Sharon, which is not the same plant as a tropical Hibiscus. Same family and genus, but different species.

Turns out there are more than 200 species in the Hibiscus genus, and some tolerate cold better than others. Some species would not survive outside all winter. You see those species on porches and balconies during the summer, but they are brought inside when the weather turns cold.

I had wondered about that for a while and finally bothered to look it up. Cue the shooting star and “The More You Know” graphic 🙂

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