With names like rose of Sharon and H. syriacus (of Syria)), we are tempted to give this a home in the Middle East. One could even speculate that this tree has followed the people of the Book as they dispersed around the world. In fact it has, but it didn't start from the Holy Land. This small tree is of east Asian origin. And the one in my garden keeps making the point that they really spread from previous generations. Prolifically! The parent is white, but the kids are liable to be any shade from that to purple, with or without a red center. This image is from the location of the first wild rose of Sharon reported in Michigan. At that spot there are so many, so close together that it is pretty much an impenetrable wall. Rose of Sharon has been reported from just about everywhere except Antarctica. Here it has been collected in AL, AR, CT, DE, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, and WV. Lenawee Co MI, 8/12/12. Mallow family, Malvaceae.