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Commonly known as Rock rose
Genus of 19 species of evergreen shrubs from dry, stony soils in the Canary Islands, northern Africa, Turkey and southern Europe.
C. ladanifer (western Mediterranean) is the source of labdanum, a sticky brown resin used in history as incense. It was gathered by combing the fleeces of goats and sheep which grazed on the shrubs. In the present it is used in perfumery as a subsitute for ambergris (the sperm whale being endangered) and in the tobacco flavourings in electronic cigarette liquid.
EvergreenSticky, lance-shaped, wavy-margined, bright-green leaves to 10cm (4in) long.
Medium shrubTypically grow to around 4-6 feet in heightRounded shrub. Flowers, to 8cm (3in) across, have golden-yellow stamens.
Full sunSheltered site.
Additional FeaturesGood to knowWildlife plant - insects, butterflies.Pests & DiseasesNone.Place of originSouthwestern Europe, northern Africa.
Soil ConditionsWell drained, dry, poor to moderately fertile soilGenerally lime tolerant, but can become chlorotic on chalky soils.
Buy Varieties of CISTUS
peach pink, very hardy
purple to rose flowers with a yellow centre and hairy stems
white flowers with a dark red basal stain
tough, evergreen shrub with yellow-centred white flowers
cerise pink flowers
rosy-crimson flowers with a maroon blotch at the base
white flowers with red marks at the base of each petal. Often has some flowers which revert in part to rosy-crimson