Considered by some the most beautiful, Cistus ladanifer (Crimson-Spot Rockrose) is definitely one of the showiest Cistus species. In spring, this dense, evergreen shrub is covered with a profusion of large, up to 4 in. wide (10 cm), solitary papery white flowers blotched with crimson spots at the base of each petal. Although each flower lasts only for a day, this vigorous shrub provides a succession of flowers for about a month. The foliage is strongly resin-scented in the sun and consists of very sticky, narrow, dark green leaves with gray undersides. Native to Spain and Portugal, this sturdy shrub is well suited to the continental Mediterranean climate, standing both long summer droughts and cold weather.
- Grows upright with a loose, open habit to 3-5 ft. high (90-150 cm) and wide.
- Easily grown in well-drained soils in full sun. Excellent evergreen shrub for gardens that get no watering. Will grow in poor soils and tolerate coastal conditions.
- Drought tolerant and deer resistant
- Great for banks and slopes, beds and borders, hedges, cottage gardens, coastal gardens, Mediterranean gardens, city gardens or gravel and rock gardens.
- Virtually disease and pest free
- Propagate by seed or softwood cuttings
- Pinch out the longer growing points to encourage the flowering side shoots to form.