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A picture of a Rock Rose

Rock Rose

Cistus spp.

Also known as

Rock rose, Sun rose

Cistus purpurea by Peripitus (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Full Sun
Light watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size






5 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Rock Rose

A photo of Rock Rose
A photo of Rock Rose
A photo of Rock Rose
A photo of Rock Rose
A photo of Rock Rose

Rock Rose Overview

Cistus is a genus composed of over 50 species of perennial shrubs native to the Mediterranean, Canary Islands and the Middle East. They are part of the rock rose family of plants, Cistaceae. Grown for their showy 5-petalled flowers, in colours of white, pink and purple, this genus now contains many hybrid and cultivar species. Some species have a dark red spot at the base of their petals. Leaves are oppositely arranged and evergreen. Foliage has a rough texture and some species produce leaves coated in labdanum, a highly aromatic resin. These species grow well in poor soil but need ample sunlight and a sheltered position.

Common problems with Rock Rose

Generally pest and disease free.

    Rock Rose Companion Plants

    Plant alongside low growing shrubs with similar water requirements.

    How to propagate Rock Rose



    Softwood cuttings. Take 10-15cm long cuttings and remove bottom half og the leaves. Place in well-draining soil mixture.

    Special features of Rock Rose

    Attractive flowers

    Pot plant

    The rock rose makes a good garden plant, it can also be grown in a large pot.

    Attracts useful insects

    Some species have nectar and pollen-rich flowers, which attract bees and other beneficial insect pollinators.

    Other uses of Rock Rose

    Grown for their succession of freely borne, short lived, showy flowers. Suitable for coastal conditions.

    Plants for Summer Cuttings

    Some of the many plants which you can take semi-ripe cuttings from in summer.

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    Artemisia spp.

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    Chalk Soil Plants - Top 20

    These plants will thrive in the free draining conditions created by chalky soils.

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