Blue Bird Althea or Rose of Sharon. This is without a doubt my favorite Althea. If you haven't seen an Althea that meets your discriminating eye, then you probably have never seen 'Blue Bird.' It has 5" single, close to true blue flowers with a deep burgundy throat, from late May until fall for us, but later blooming further north. It is not as vigorous as some cultivars, but it will reach 8-10' in time. It is even spectacular trained up into a standard. It is quite an old variety which is even better color than some of the new patented cultivars. It is an old French variety and one might see the French name of 'Oiseau Bleu' attached to it.