Herb: Rose Of Sharon


Latin name: Hibiscus syriacus


Synonyms: Althaea frutex


Family: Malvaceae (Mallow Family)



Medicinal use of Rose Of Sharon:

The leaves are diuretic, expectorant and stomachic. A decoction of the flowers is diuretic, ophthalmic and stomachic. It is also used in the treatment of itch and other skin diseases, dizziness and bloody stools accompanied by much gas. The bark contains several medically active constituents, including mucilage, carotenoids, sesquiterpenes and anthocyanidins. A decoction of the root bark is antiphlogistic, demulcent, emollient, febrifuge, haemostatic and vermifuge. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, abdominal pain, leucorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea and dermaphytosis.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

Flovering:
September

Habitat of the herb:

Found wild on mountain slopes, though the original habitat is obscure.

Edible parts of Rose Of Sharon:

Young leaves - raw or cooked. A very mild flavour, though slightly on the tough side, they make an acceptable addition to the salad bowl. A tea is made from the leaves or the flowers. Flowers - raw or cooked. A mild flavour and mucilaginous texture, they are delightful in salads, both for looking at and for eating. Root - it is edible but very fibrousy. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour.

Other uses of the herb:

A low quality fibre is obtained from the stems. It is used for making cordage and paper. The seed contains about 25% oil. No further details are given, but it is likely to be edible. A hair shampoo is made from the leaves. A blue dye is obtained from the flowers. This species is planted as a hedge in S. Europe.

Propagation of Rose Of Sharon:

Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Some reports say that the seed can be sown in situ outside and that it gives a good rate of germination. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood, early autumn in a frame. Good percentage. Layering in mid summer to early autumn.

Cultivation of the herb:

Found wild on mountain slopes, though the original habitat is obscure.

Known hazards of Hibiscus syriacus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.