The Rose of Sharon is a flower of uncertain identity mentioned in English language translations of the Bible. The word in question is the Hebrew חבצלת ḥăḇaṣṣeleṯ, which has been uncertainly linked to the words בצל beṣel, meaning 'bulb', and חמץ ḥāmaṣ, which is understood as meaning either 'pungent' or 'splendid' (The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon). The name first appears in 1611, when it was used in the King James Version of the Bible. According to an annotation at Song of Solomon 2.1 by the translation committee of the New Revised Standard Version, this is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word for "crocus".
The most accepted interpretation for the Biblical reference is the Pancratium maritimum, which blooms in the late summer just above the high-tide mark. The Hebrew name for this flower is חבצלת or חבצלת החוף (coastal ḥăḇaṣṣeleṯ). It is commonly assumed by most people in Israel that, the Sharon plain being on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the Biblical passage refers to this flower.
Different scholars have suggested that the biblical "Rose of Sharon" may be one of the following plants:
Today, the name is also commonly applied to two different plants, neither of which is likely to have been the plant from the Bible:
In Korea, the Rose of Sharon (mugunghwa or Hibiscus syriacus, "endless flower") is the historical symbol of the present and historic Yi Dynasty Korean royal family, and figures throughout domestic and royal architectural elements, particularly in roof tiles.
In The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Rose of Sharon (often called "Rosasharn") is a major character, the eldest daughter of the Joad family and the sister of the protagonist Tom Joad. Throughout much of the novel, she is depicted as fragile because of her pregnancy.
The Ragnarok Online background music set includes a track called "Rose of Sharon".
The City Of Rosharon is named after the "Rose Of Sharon" from the Cheerokee Roses that grew near by.
Rose of Sharon is also a song by Robert Hunter (Grateful Dead) released on his solo album Tiger Rose.