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Products > Cistus ladanifer
Cistus ladanifer - Crimson-Spot Rockrose
Image of Cistus ladanifer
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Cistaceae (Rock-roses)
Origin: Europe, Southern (Europe)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [Cistus maculatus, C. ladaniferus]
Height: 4-5 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 (Crimson-Spot Rockrose) - Vigorous dense upright shrub reaching 5 to 6 feet tall and slightly narrower than wide with sticky slender lance-shaped dark green leaves that are grayish on the undersides and fragrant in the heat of summer. This species holds the largest flowers of the genus and is considered by some the most beautiful. Each flower is solitary but measures 3 to 4 inches in diameter with bright white petals with a bold red spot at the base, which gives rise to the common name. The cultivar 'Blanche', which we also grow, is a cultivar of this species but does not have this red blotch.

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 a seaside garden and as with other Rockroses it is resistant to deer predation.

Cistus ladanifer is indigenous to Spain, Portugal and north-west Africa but was cultivated throughout the Mediterranean region for the fragrant resin known as gum labdanum (ladanum) or vegetable ambergris that was used in perfumes and as a fixative. For this reason another common name for this plant is Gum Rockrose. The specific epithet 'ladanifer' given to this plant by Linnaeus literally means "bearing of ladanum". The name Cistus is from the Greek word 'kistos' which was the name originally used to describe the plant in ancient Greece. We have grown and sold this nice plant since 1982. 

This information about Cistus ladanifer displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.