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Products > Cistus ladanifer
Cistus ladanifer - Crimson-Spot Rockrose

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' 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. This plant 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.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing Cistus ladanifer.