Cistus lusitanicus

Cistus lusitanicus – Rock Rose

Each petal is a brilliant white with yellow base and exquisite inky purple blotch.



This is an evergreen shrub growing to about 0.6M at maturity. It is not a long-lived plant and you should expect to replace it every 8-10 years. Fortunately, it comes reliably from cuttings. Each flower actually lasts for only one day, but C. lusitanicus maintains a wonderful display for 4-6 weeks, bridging gap from late spring into summer. 


Cistus lusitanicus comes from the Iberian peninsula, as the name suggests, where it grows in poor soils on slopes or other well drained sites

Soil / Aspect:

C. lusitanicus is really only half- hardy. This issue is getting it through the winter, when it can suffer from frost or windburn from cold winds, or rotting roots in waterlogged soils. Both these are partly addressed by not enriching the soil, which reduces the water retained around the roots and prevents lush growth that does not harden-off properly.


This is pretty much a “fire and forget” kind of plant. It does not react well to pruning and will not come again at all from old wood. You can trim it [carefully] after flowering, but possibly better to give it a dry, sunny site and enjoy whatever it offers.