Many varieties of the rose proper are indigenous to Syria. The famed rose of Damascus is white, but there are also red and yellow roses. In Cant 2:1 and Isaiah 35:1 the Hebrew word habatstseleth (found only in these passages), rendered "rose" (RSV marg., "autumn crocus"), is supposed by some to mean the oleander, by others the sweet-scented narcissus (a native of Palestine), the tulip, or the daisy; but nothing definite can be affirmed regarding it.
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." (See MYRRH .)