Plant Identification

Sadly, my garden was demolished by hail, but I would still like to know what this flower is. It was gifted to me by an old man who admired my alley garden and felt I needed it. It is lovely, but nameless. It grows quite tall--over four feet, and is somewhat like a hollyhock in stem. However the buds cluster at the tops and result in these very papery and delicate white flowers--quite large and with that magenta center.
plant identification, flowers, gardening
  34 answers
  • Margery Orrison Snyder Margery Orrison Snyder on Aug 11, 2013
    Looks like a Rose of Sharon, but they are usually a bush or tree.

  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Aug 11, 2013
    Looks like hollyhocks to me. :) I have Rose of Sharon and that's not it.

  • Maggie C Maggie C on Aug 11, 2013
    hollyhock. They spread.

  • Hollyhock leaves are fuzzy and the blooms are different. I am leaning toward a Hibiscus and pretty positive that it is.

  • Sandy Butzke Sandy Butzke on Aug 11, 2013
    Looks like a hibiscus, which is the same family as rose of sharon.

  • Terresa K Terresa K on Aug 11, 2013
    It's not a Hollyhock

  • Glenda Thompson Glenda Thompson on Aug 11, 2013
    This is a hardy hibiscus the seed pods look like rose of sharon, orka, cotton they are all from the same family.

  • Lana C Lana C on Aug 11, 2013
    This is definitely a hardy hibiscus. There are several varieties. My second favorite flowering plant. They get very large and the huge blossoms really show off in the garden late July almost up to frost here in Michigan. Unfortunately the japanese beetles love them too. Just google Hardy hibiscus and you will see all the wonderful varieties. Be careful not to confuse them with the tropical hibiscus which are not perennial in cold climates.

  • Hardy hibiscus gets my vote too.

  • Lori J Lori J on Aug 11, 2013
    Thanks, folks. I knew it was NOT a hollyhock. Seems to need support, so it is in a tall tomato cage. It did not fare as badly as most of my garden, upon closer inspection today.

  • Lorraine McLaney Lorraine McLaney on Aug 11, 2013
    It looks like what we in the south call a "dinner plate hibiscus".

  • Lori J Lori J on Aug 11, 2013
    They are so darned pretty!

  • DebFA DebFA on Aug 13, 2013
    It is a Hardy Hibiscus and know that it will die-back every fall and will come up each spring from the ground. If I find my plants needing support, I use a round frame used for peonies.

  • It's definitely a hardy hibiscus - I have a red one blooming right now.

  • Luis Luis on Aug 13, 2013
    Lori that is Rose of Sharon(Hibiscus syriacus) it comes in a variety of colors

  • Denise Denise on Aug 13, 2013
    Definitely Rose of Sharon. They will grow into tall bushes and butterfly's love them!

  • Stephanie Stephanie on Aug 13, 2013
    i could be wrong, but i do believe its a rose of sharon. which i believe in the hibiscus family

  • Patti Lemaire Patti Lemaire on Aug 13, 2013
    Rose of Sharon, a type of hibiscus. It grows as a large shrub in Ontario Canada.

  • Linda Cullen Linda Cullen on Aug 13, 2013
    yes, I say Rose of Sharon....

  • JuaCarMul JuaCarMul on Aug 13, 2013
    I first thought it was a Rose of Sharon until I looked closely at the foliage. I have some very old Rose of Sharon bushes that are sprouted everywhere now. From a very small plant, the stem is very sturdy and a tree-like brown color. Also, the leaves are shaped different. Ole Timers in the Appalachian South call them Dog Lilly also. Probably because they start blooming during Dogs Days of summer. Although a relative of the Rose of Sharon, I tend to agree that this is a Hibiscus of some type.

  • Found & Fancied Goods Found & Fancied Goods on Aug 13, 2013
    Looks like a Lunar Hibiscus. I have one in my garden.

  • Peg Peg on Aug 13, 2013
    The Rose of Sharons and the Hibiscus have similar flowers. The Rose of Sharon will grow more dense/shrub like, leaves are different than most hardy hibiscus which is less compact. These flower buds in your pic resemble the hardy hibiscus, not the Rose of Sharon, this will help identify the plant. The Rose of Sharons have different leaves too.

    • See 1 previous
    • Peg Peg on Aug 14, 2013
      @The Garden Frog with C Renee Excellent !! Yes, that is definitely true and an obvious way to tell the difference too.

  • P P on Aug 13, 2013
    Rose of Sharon...aka Hardy Hibiscus

  • Judy Judy on Aug 13, 2013
    It's a hibiscus. It's a perennial which reseeds. I have them popping up in different parts of my garden.

  • Karen Karen on Aug 13, 2013
    Rose of Sharon....hibiscus...perennial. I love the blooms, have several in my yard, the bees, hummingbirds love them, and you have to watch out for the squirrel as I've noticed they like to eat the flowers!

  • Alice Harley-Wosnig Alice Harley-Wosnig on Aug 14, 2013
    It isn't a Rose of Sharon. The foliage is different. They are related but not the same. Here is a link about Hibiscus

  • Peg Peg on Aug 15, 2013
    confusing, yes! Rose of Sharon is from the "genus- hibiscus" which is from the "mallow family". There are over 200 species of hibiscus. Rose of Sharon, (the common name), is "hibiscus syriacus". Living in northern cold climates, a "hardy" hibiscus will survive the winters. I have a few "hardy" hibiscus, but they are not the same plant. Then there are all types of hibiscus from the tropics, Asia, Africa, China, Hawaii, ect that grow as potted plants up north and as perennials in the south. The hibiscus that I brought up from Florida grow in pots in NY and I bring them indoors for the winter. BTW - there is another "rose of sharon" plant from the "hypericum/St. John's wort.

  • Lori J Lori J on Aug 15, 2013
    Well, whatever it is, it is darned pretty and very thankfully, something that survived the hail and is blooming yet.

  • Shelley Sansom Shelley Sansom on Aug 16, 2013
    It is a Rose of Sharon like the others have already said. It's scientific name is Hibiscus syriacus and it belongs to the family Malvaceae. The family includes Hibiscus and Abutilon (Chinese Lanterns) they all have one thing in common a staminal column which is in the center of the flower and is the reproductive part of the plant. Some of my horticultural terms may be different to yours as I live in Australia.

  • Debbie Debbie on Aug 16, 2013
    definitely a perennial hibiscus. I have them in white like yours and pinks. I also have rose of Sharon's as well that grow like a large bush or small tree with a bark like limb. Your perennial stem will remain a green stem

  • Thelma Herschbach Thelma Herschbach on Aug 16, 2013
    It looks more like the wild Hibiscus that is common in Southern Illinois.

  • Robin Shut Robin Shut on Aug 17, 2013
    moon Lillie's

  • Lgsmith Lgsmith on Aug 17, 2013
    Google "marsh mellow plant" and you will find this plant with flower and leaves that match yours. It grows wild here in the South.

  • Robin Shut Robin Shut on Aug 17, 2013
    thank you @Lgsmith, you set me down the right path since I have these in my backyard/marshland . With alittle more searching I found, swamp rose mallow aka Hibiscus Moscheutos aka hibiscus palustris