The Plain of Sharon is mentioned in the Bible (1 Chron. 5:16, 27:29; Isaiah 33:9, 35:2, 65:10), including the famous reference to the enigmatic "Rose of Sharon" (Song of Solomon 2:1). Historically, While some parts of the Sharon plain were very fertile, much of it was swampy and malarial, a condition exacerbated by massive Ottoman deforestation. Zionist immigrants arrived in the early 20th century, drained much of the swampy land, and populated the region with many settlements. In 2008, it was the most densely populated region of Israel.