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Rockrose is just beginning to bloom.

The first bloom is the best. At least it is purported to be. Many of us who are familiar with any cultivar of rockrose, Cistus, might disagree. Bloom begins in spring and continues through summer. The most profuse bloom can be anytime within that range. Some cultivars bloom sporadically but continually. Others bloom in more distinct phases. Cultivars that start later can bloom into autumn.

Bloom is white, pale pink, rich pink or purplish pink. Individual flowers have five petals and fuzzy centers. Flowers of some of the older cultivars have a prominent rusty red spot at the base of each petal. Smaller flowers are more profuse than larger flowers. The small evergreen leaves of most rockrose are somewhat grayish, with a matte finish. Foliage is aromatic when disturbed or warm.

Most rockrose are appreciated for their low and mounding form. If arranged in a row, they can grow into an artificial berm. Most get at least three times broader than tall. Few get taller than three feet. They all appreciate warm exposure. Once established they do not need much watering. Unfortunately, most rockrose do not live much longer than five years. Few survive more than ten years.

6 thoughts on “Rockrose

  1. Hmm, my cistus is quite old I think, it’s been a large old shrub already by the time we’ve moved in. Regular pink variety with dark splotchy center

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some last longer than expected. I grew a few that I expected to last longer than the fancier modern cultivars, but because I watered them, they started to deteriorate after only three years, and were removed by the time they were about five years old. However, there is one here that is at least ten years old, and for all I know, could be twice as old, but it still does very well.

      Liked by 1 person

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