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Genus Cistus (Rock rose, Sun rose)

Cistus Cistus albidus Photo/Illustration: Steve Aitken
SIS-tus Common Name: Rock rose, Sun rose
Members of the genus Cistus are evergreen shrubs grown for their showy, saucer-shaped white to dark pink flowers, usually 5-petaled and borne singly or in terminal or axillary clusters from early to late summer.
Noteworthy characteristics: Native to dry, stony, or rocky soils in the Canary Islands, North Africa, Turkey, and southern Europe. Species vary in leaf shape and color, bloom size and color. Often short-lived. Blooms last one day.
Care: Poor to moderately fertile, well-drained soil in a sheltered site in full sun. Plant after danger of frost has passed. Tolerates alkaline soils. Pinch back after flowering to encourage a bushy habit. Grow in a shrub border, on sunny banks, at the base of a wall, around paved areas, or in containers.
Propagation: Root softwood or greenwood cuttings in summer.
Problems: Infrequent.

Species, varieties and cultivars for genus Cistus

Cistus albidus Cistus albidus
(Rock rose, Sun rose)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This is an evergreen, bushy shrub native to southwestern Europe and North Africa. Rock roses are useful in a shrub border, on a hillside, or in containers. Cistus albidus bears vibrant lilac-pink flowers in summer. Although each flower lasts only one day, they are produced in great numbers on plants that are 3 feet tall and wide.