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Rose of Sharon: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rose of Sharon is a common name that applies to several different species of flowering plants that are highly valued throughout the world. The name's colloquial application has been used as an example of the lack of precision of common names, which potentially causes confusion.[1] Rose of Sharon has also become a frequently used catch phrase in lyrics and verse.


Biblical origins

Chavatzelet HaSharon (Hebrew חבצלת השרון) is an onion-like flower bulb. (Hebrew חבצלת ḥăḇaṣṣeleṯ) is a flower of uncertain identity translated as the Rose of Sharon in English language translations of the Bible. Etymologists have inconclusively linked the Biblical חבצלת 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 Rose of Sharon first appears in English in 1611 in the King James Version of the Bible. According to an annotation of Song of Solomon 2:1 by the translation committee of the New Revised Standard Version, "Rose of Sharon" is a mistranslation of a more general 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.

Varying scholars have suggested that the biblical "Rose of Sharon" may be one of the following plants:

Modern usage

Hypericum calycinum
Hibiscus syriacus

Rose of Sharon is also commonly applied to two different plants, neither of which is likely to have been the plant from the Bible:

Cultural presentation

- In the USA, the Rose of Sharon is the official flower of Phi Beta Chi, a national Lutheran-based Greek social letter sorority.

- 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 Rose of Sharon is also referenced in the Kate Bush recording "The Song of Solomon" from her 1993 album The Red Shoes.

- The Rose of Sharon is referenced in the Killswitch Engage song "Rose of Sharyn" from their 2003 album The End of Heartache.

- There is a song entitled "Rose of Sharon" on Xiu Xiu's 2005 album La Forêt. The lyrics seem to allude to both the Song of Solomon and to Steinbeck's novel.

- The Ragnarok Online background music set includes a track called "Rose of Sharon".

- The village of Rosharon, Texas is named after the "Rose Of Sharon" from the Cherokee Roses that grew near by.

- The Rose of Sharon is referenced in the Bob Dylan song "Caribbean Wind." The song appeared on the compilation album Biograph but was originally recorded during the sessions for Shot of Love.

- Leonard Cohen in his original poem "The Traitor" (on which the song "The Traitor" is based) also refers to the Rose of Sharon.

- Rose of Sharon is a homeless character in Sherman Alexie's short story "What You Pawn I Will Redeem," published April 21, 2003 in The New Yorker.

- Sephardic Hebrew poetry from the 10th-15th century demonstrates prolific use of the חבצלת (ḥăḇaṣṣeleṯ) translated into English consistently as "Rose of Sharon"; there are a few renderings as "lily" (see Gate 47 of the Tahkemoni) .[2] The term and trope are found throughout the Sefer Tahkemoni by Yehuda Alharizi (1165-1225) and much of the poetic corpus of the Golden Age of Iberian Jewish belles lettres, which includes the works of such poets as Shmu'el HaNagid (993-1056), Moses Ibn Ezra (c.1055-after 1138), Yehuda Halevi (c.1075-1141), and Abraham Ibn Ezra (c.1093-c.1167) among others.[3]

- Judah Robertson has an album entitled "Rose of Sharon".

- "Rose of Sharon" is a song by Robert Hunter (Grateful Dead) released on his solo album Tiger Rose.

- "Rose of Sharon" is a song sung by Joan Baez on the album Day After Tomorrow (album).

Works cited

  • Crawford, P. L. (1985). "Rose". in Paul J. Achtemeier (gen. ed.). Harper's Bible Dictionary. San Francisco: Harper. pp. 884.  
  • Davidson, Benjamin (1970) [1848]. The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon (1st softcover ed. ed.). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan. pp. 246. ISBN 0-310-39891-6.  
  • Lapp, N. L. (1985). "Sharon". in Paul J. Achtemeier (gen. ed.). Harper's Bible Dictionary. San Francisco: Harper. pp. 933–4.  
  • Scott, R. B. Y. (1991). "Annotations to Song of Solomon". The New Oxford Annotated Bible. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 854 OT.  


  1. ^ Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia: Why use a scientific name?
  2. ^ Alharizi, Judah. The Book of Tahkemoni, Translation: David Simha Segal. The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, London. 2001
  3. ^ Cole, Peter. The Dream of the Poem. Translation: Peter Cole. Princeton University Press, Princeton. 2007

External links

  • Rose of Sharon Introduction to growing rose of sharon in the landscape.
  • 1greenthumb A gallery of Rose Of Sharon Photographs of all types.
  • Helene Rose of Sharon Helene Rose of Sharon, thrives in heat, humidity, drought and poor soils.

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

The "rose of Sharon" is probably the cistus or rock-rose, several species of which abound in Palestine. Mount Carmel especially abounds in the cistus, which in April covers some of the barer parts of the mountain with a glow not inferior to that of the Scottish heather.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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