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Northwest Regional Reports

Rock Roses Shine in Spring

These low-care evergreens abound with spectacular blooms

'Henfield Brilliant' rock rose. Photo: Jason Jorgensen

Midspring is an amazing time of year in the garden. There is so much energy, excitement, and over-the-top color. One of my favorite plant families for this season is Cistaceace, commonly known as the the cistus or rock rose family. This genus thrives in larger gardens where space is not a premium, although some smaller-scale cistuses work well in small gardens and rockeries. Their color palette is a full-blown color wheel. The flowers span from cool whites and pale pinks to warmer jewel tones of reds, oranges, hot pinks, and yellows. Some also have a beautiful maroon-to-burgundy flash at the base of the petals. The leaves range from dark green to pale, dusky gray. Most bloom in early May and continue through June, with flowers often completely covering the foliage. The flowers last only a few days, but since the blooms are so profuse, you’ll hardly notice. They typically rebloom…

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