Aphrodite Althea or Rose of Sharon. Altheas have been a popular old standby shrub for years, but newer selections are bred for sterility to prevent the unsightly seed pods which might otherwise line its stems. And since energy is not put into producing seed, one gets far more flowers. This selection was bred by the U. S. National Arboretum and is a triploid, meaning that it has three times the number of chromosomes that a normal Althea has which renders it almost completely sterile. This cultivar produces large deep pink flowers with a crimson throat and will flower from June until fall. Another interesting aspect of the plants name, Hibiscus syriacus, is that when Carl Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy, named this species, he thought that its origin was Syria, hence the specific name "syriacus." But it is really from Korea, where it is the national flower of South Korea. So since the oldest name stands, we are stuck with an improper name.