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Products > Cistus ladanifer 'Blanche'
Cistus ladanifer 'Blanche' - White Rockrose
Image of Cistus ladanifer 'Blanche'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Cistaceae (Rock-roses)
Origin: Europe, Southern (Europe)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [C. Paladin, Hort., C. palhinhae 'Blanche', Hort.]
Parentage: (C. ladanifer x C. ladanifer forma latifolia)
Height: 4-8 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Cistus ladanifer 'Blanche' (White Rockrose) - A vigorous dense upright shrub reaching 5 to 8 feet tall with narrow bright green sticky aromatic leaves that have wavy edges. In late spring and early summer appear the large 3 inch wide white flowers with dark yellow stamens in the center. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate infrequently to not at all. It is hardy to about 20 degrees F. A good tough drought tolerant plant for a dry garden or seaside garden and as with other Rockroses, it is resistant to deer predation. We first saw this plant in the early 1980s where Lester Hawkins and Marshall Olbrich had cultivated it in their garden at Western Hills Nursery in Occidental California. Lester, writing in the Fall 1978 issue of Pacific Horticulture, noted that this plant was originally "received from the Strybing Arboretum labeled as Cistus 'Paladin'. It was a lovely plant, but since its large flowers were pure white and the cv. 'Paladin' has blotched flowers, we examined it more closely and determined it must be the cv. 'Blanche' in the C. (ladanifer x palhinhae) series. The best tall rock rose we have ever grown is Cistus (ladanifer x palhinhae) 'Blanche', with pure white unblotched flowers. It will easily attain eight feet and its great white flowers, four-and-a-half inches across, are produced in abundance in the middle of May. Since the plant is infertile, it produces none of the large brown seed pods so noticeable in both of its parents." Our original stock plant came to us in 1984 from the legendary plantsman Austin Griffiths, who in turn got his plant from Western Hills Nursery. This plant is now considered to be spotless cultivar of Cistus ladanifer. This plant is a hybrid created by Collingwood Ingram (18801981), and it won the RHS Award of Merit in 1967. There are some that claim this plant is actually Cistus x aguilarii, that is the result of backcrossing a Cistus ladanifer x C. populifolius hybrid back with Cistus ladanifer and that the true 'Blanche' is a smaller and more compact plant. For now we will stick by our source's name on this wonderful plant and continue to call it 'Blanche', the name we received it with over 25 years ago. The name Cistus is from the Greek word 'kistos' which was the name originally used to describe the plant in ancient Greece.  This information about Cistus ladanifer 'Blanche' displayed is based on research conducted in our library and from reliable online resources. We will also note observations that we have made about it as it grows in the gardens in our nursery and those elsewhere, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments we receive from others, and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing it.