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Cistus ladanifer L.

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© RHS 2000

Characteristics

Plant type

Shrub

Habit

Bushy

Fragrance

Leaf

Resilience

Hardiness

H3 (half hardy - unheated greenhouse/mild winter)

Colour

Flower

White and Dark Red in Summer

Foliage

Dark Green in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

1.5-2.5 metres

Ultimate spread

1-1.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

5-10 years


Preferred common name

common gum cistus

Family

Cistaceae


Cistus are evergreen shrubs with simple, opposite leaves and 5-petalled, bowl-shaped, white, pink or purplish flowers, each lasting a single day, over a long period in summer

C. ladanifer is an evergreen shrub of loose, open habit with very sticky, narrow, aromatic leaves, dark green above, grey beneath. Flowers to 10cm in width, white with a deep red blotch at the base of each petal

Other common names

  • gum cistus
  • laudanum
  • sweet holly rose

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing or East-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Will grow well in poor soils but may become chlorotic with age on chalky soils. Needs a sheltered position in full sun

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Clay, Chalk or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed or softwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Banks and Slopes, City/Courtyard Gardens, Coastal, Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Gravel Garden or Mediterranean Climate Plants


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 8 or pruning group 9. Does not respond to hard pruning

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free