Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee)
Genus: Hibiscus (hi-BIS-kus)
Species: syriacus (seer-ee-AK-us)
A bumblebee enjoys nectar from a Rose of Sharon, also known as Althea. This plant is a relative of hibiscus but, unlike most hibiscus, is hardy and is easily grown in this zone. The plant (actually a shrub that can reach eight to ten feet in height) flowers heavily and continually from early summer until almost frost. It's only bad habit, which is not too bad, is that the flowers, when shed, can make a rather unsightly mess under the shrub. I guess I can live with that; the flowers are really pretty, and attract bees and other beneficial insects. There are varieties of Althea that have white, purple or pink blooms. This one happens to be a light pink, with deep pink throats.
Here's a blossom without a bee:
Today's Flowers is a weekly Meme created by Luiz Santilli, Jr. and currently hosted by Luiz Santilli, Jr., Denise Gullickson, Laerte Pupo and Valkyrien, and may be found here. Please visit to see others' lovely flower photos. If you have a flower photo of your own to share, please join us.