They are not common, but not sure that they fall into the rare category either. I bought one this spring and it has double, deep burgandy blooms that never open fully. Most folks grow it for the foliage, rather than for the bloom.
When my plants first leaf out in the spring they look variegated for a while. Then they fill in green. I don't know why, always wondered about that! The H. syracus at the nurseries do the same thing, so I'm not worried. What do the flowers on yours look like?
Edited...found this on www.storynursery.com:
'PURPUREUS VARIEGATUS' 10' x 6'
VARIEGATED ROSE OF SHARON
FOLIAGE IS CLEAN AND THE CREAMY WHITE MARGIN IN WIDE AND
CONSISTENT. GROWN FOR THE FOLIAGE AS THE FLOWERS NEVER
I have Rose of Sharan trees that are now about 12' tall with varied color blooms, (from white w/dark pink centers to dark lavender/purplekindof). I can't keep up with the seedlings, they are everywhere. This variegated one is the first I've seen come up from seed. However, the variegation is inconsistent. It's too small yet for blooms but will post when it's mature enough. I'm going to try taking a picture of it soon and post it.
Thanks all for links:)
Well, I went to the J.C. Raulston Arboreatum when I was in Raleigh, NC. They had a variegated (several types actually) Rose of Sharon! It was neat! Sounds like your seed came true-ish (at least for the leaves!). How exciting!
I only know what's been posted here :-) I don't know roose, I just noticed that it was a pretty old thread so out of curiosity I looked to see if they were still a subscriber and they're not so I figured I'd let you know so you weren't sitting there wondering why they didn't respond.