Cross breeding of Rose of Sharon

Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6October 9, 2011

Hi all; I am new on this posting,

First of all, there is no yellow Rose of Sharon. This would be something I would like to have growing in my yard. There are many types already on the market but no yellows. I think it may be possible to cross a yellow tropical type ('rosa-sinensis' which looks a lot like 'syriacus') to produce a hardy type. The odds are against me but I would like to try starting next year. I don't have a yellow tropical to start with.

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I am playing around with this right now. There is also a yellowish wild type swamp mallow locally I'm toying with as well in cross breeding with Syriacus. I've pollinated syriacus with a yellow sinensis as well.

I get a few seed pods from Syriacus when Rosa-Sinensis is the father. But, so far I mostly get plants with the same flower (sometimes larger) but, distorted leaves. (small leaves, some larger somewhat shiny). So far no yellows yet. Keep me informed with your progress and I will do the same.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 9:59AM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

Twizzelstick, What progress? I an only in the dream stage. I was going to start out with H. Syriacus Dianna which is a totally white to begin with. I have one that produces seeds. Dianna was suppost to be serile. It was given to me as 'Dianna'. It will be my mother plant. I haven't yet purchased a yellow H. Sinensis. Even if i get anything. It will now be my new mother plant. If i bring in another plant this winter, my wife will shoot me. Houseing space is limited. So I will hope you succeed. Get the glory and sell me a seedling. But I will start this spring with my ideas. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 3:48PM
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Well I haven't really made much progress. The closest I got was this photo of Sam McFadden cross (something similar)

I got something similar.

I found a local gardener that has a wild variety that is pure white (no red center) and sets a lot of seed. I'm going to try it on that next year hopefully if my cuttings come along.

You might arrive there before me. It is very difficult due to the chromosome difference. I have also started using a chemical mutagen on the syriacus plants.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 4:13PM
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Stush2049 Pitts. PA, zone 6

Reply to Twizzelstick,
After reading all morning after Googled Hibiscus and breeding, I am over my head. Don't even know if some of my plants are 'Sino-Syriacus' (China) or just 'Syriacus'. While searching, Found a yellow 'Hardy' double flowered yet. After searching the garden center in Flordia, found it to be tropical. Almost bought it. Another outfit is selling Rose of Sharon seeds with pictures of all colors including yellow. But no yellows by themselves. I don't beleave it exist. I really hope you succeed with the first. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 2:58PM
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The yellows in the seed photos are Rosa-Sinensis (tropical). I have a few bushes of the old type syriacus because they set seed so easily. Like I said though they are few and far between with those and what I have gotten so far is what looks like mutations of the original syriacus plants.

Next year I will try by breeding the mutated plants with yellows again and hopefully the yellowish wild perennial type will grow enough to put out flowers for pollination.

I am trying a mutagen (chemical)in attempt to create more mutation. Nobody has a yellow syriacus yet or that I'm aware of.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 9:58AM
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michael_ronayne(Nutley, NJ Zone 6b)

Reply to Twizzelstick,
If your "yellowish wild type swamp mallow" is what I think it is, I have quite a bit of information on this species, including a high resolution photograph of a mounted specimen at Harvard (Circa 1888) from the collection of Dr. Asa Gray, who identified it as Hibiscus incanus. Today it would be identified as Hibiscus moscheutos var. incanus. Harvard University kindly sent me private correspondence pertaining to the collection of the specimen and there are people in Warrior Alabama who are now searching for the Hibiscus. Here is the link to the 1888 paper:

Author(s): Asa Gray
Source: Botanical Gazette, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Apr., 1888), p. 73
Stable URL:

There is the text of the paper:

"Hibiscus incanus, Wendl. Doubting the sulphur colored or straw-yellow petals, I referred this species to H. lasiocarpos Cav. in Proc. Am. Acad. xxii, 302. But I find that Dr. Chapman well knows the yellow-flowered plant, and I have now received it from Alabama, from F. J. Muller through Prof. Meehan. Chapman's character is a good one, but I have passed some dried specimens for a form of H. Moscheutos, which it much resembles. I have confirmed H. lasiocarpos Cav. for the hairy-fruited species, by referring to the original in herb. Jussieu at Paris. I here record the rehabilitation of H. incanus, because in these days catalogues are so numerously and promptly published."

In addition to recovering the long lost North American hardy yellow, there is another avenue for developing a hardy yellow by hybridizing Hibiscus syriacus and Hibiscus calyphyllus. Read my Wikipedia post on Hibiscus calyphyllus and note my comment about chromosome counts.

There are two other high probability yellow Hibiscus species from the Drakensberg Zone 7 region of South Africa but I don't have the chromosome counts for these African species yet.

In what State and Zone did you find the "yellowish wild type swamp mallow"?

Michael Ronayne
Nutley, NJ

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 12:31PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

I am a rose gardener on GW and I know very little about hibiscus, but a Google search brought up this post.

I have an unusual Rose of Sharon that came up from seed from a very old clump of them that my grandmother planted (or her father, etc). I get seedlings all the time, but this one is pure white, with a white stamen so it jumped out at me. The buds are quite yellow. I'd certainly never seen yellow buds on any that pop up in the yard.

Most of the volunteers are of two or three types and all like existing plants in my garden.

I do have two modern hybrids farther away on the property and lots of pollinators, so I can't swear who the parents are :)

Please feel free to contact me through GW if you are interested in cuttings or rooted cuttings. I just find this seedling (now about 3 feet tall) very interesting and nice.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 6:12AM
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jperilloux(8b LA)

Good luck on your project, and I hope you're successful.

Rose of Sharon - Hibiscus syriacus (Diana)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 12:05PM
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jperilloux(8b LA)

Rose of Sharon - Hibiscus syriacus (Minerva)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 12:31PM
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jperilloux(8b LA)

Rose of Sharon - Hibiscus syriacus (Aphrodite)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 12:39PM
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jperilloux(8b LA)

Walmart usually has these year round:

Yellow Hibiscus

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 1:09PM
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I have always enjoyed their blooms but here they do not seem to grow like weeds as they have when I lived nearer the coast.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:49AM
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This is what they look like when they grow in the mountains of West Virgina (East Dailey) near Elkins West Virgina. Taken about 1970.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:53AM
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As you can see mind do not all follow the same pattern for the blooms. This one was grown in heavy shade and still managed to bloom but no seed pods formed

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:56AM
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Any updates on your breeding program?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 2:45PM
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