What is this tree/shrub thing?
August 24, 2013 3:11 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to identify a tree (or shrub thing pruned into a vaguely tree-like shape) that I walk by every day. It has purplish/magenta-ish blossoms and it smells lovely. No it is not a lilac. It is currently in bloom (in the Pacific Northwest). Pics inside.
posted by dersins to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow. That is a huge peony. Beautiful!
posted by fraula at 3:18 PM on August 24, 2013


Rose of Sharon.
posted by beagle at 3:19 PM on August 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Definitely a large shrub in the mallow family. I agree with beagle, probably a Hibiscus syriacus, also called rose of sharon or shrubby rose-mallow.
posted by purpleclover at 3:27 PM on August 24, 2013


That is a rose of sharon, or Hibiscus syriacus. It is also sometimes called "hardy hibiscus" because it grows and blooms in areas which can get pretty cold in winter--but not extremely cold--think zone 5-6. We have them blooming everywhere here in MA as well at the present time. It is not a peony.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 3:54 PM on August 24, 2013


Oh...and they come in many different colors----white, purple, pink, red, and even blue. I have a blue flowering type. And the blossoms also have different forms (single and double).
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 3:56 PM on August 24, 2013


Another name you might hear is althea -- that's what I grew up calling those in Tennessee. The scientific name for the common marshmallow is Althaea officinalis, while rose of sharon used to be Althaea frutex (but has now been updated to Hibiscus syriacus).
posted by frobozz at 5:17 PM on August 24, 2013


I too, thought Rose of Sharon. They humming birds just flocked to the flowers. (Southeast Louisiana)
posted by JujuB at 11:26 PM on August 24, 2013


Thanks metafilter, I knew you wouldn't fail me!
posted by dersins at 10:19 AM on August 25, 2013


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