About this cultivar:
Cistus x purpureus is a small, bushy evergreen shrub with narrow, dull green leaves. Flowers are paperery-purplish-pink with large deep red blotch at the base. Always spoken about as drought resistant it does fine in our heavy clay soil!!?!? Sometimes good plants are just good plants....
It is a hybrid of two species, Cistus ladanifer x Cistus creticus, originally hybridised for oil production. The hybrid cultivar was first formally described in 1786 by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in the botany division of the Encyclopédie méthodique par ordre des matières (published between 1782 and 1832). It has the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.
- Position: Full sun, partial shade
- Soil: Almost any soil, grows well in Ballyrobert
- Flowers: July, August
- Other features: Grows well in Ballyrobert, Bees and Butterflies, Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit (RHS AGM)
- Hardiness: H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5°C), Fully hardy - grows well in Ballyrobert!
- Habit: Bushy
- Foliage: Evergreen
- Height: 30 - 60 cm (1 - 2 ft)
- Spread: 45 - 75 cm (1.5 - 2.5 ft)
- Time to full growth: 5 to 10 years
- Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial, shrub
- Colour: Red, pink, purple, green
Goes well with: Papaver, Aster, Astrantia and Salvia. Luzula nivea or Pennisetum
About this genus:
Cistus (from the Greek "Kistos" meaning "box") are perennial evergreen shrubs found on dry or rocky soils throughout the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal through to the Middle East, and also on the Canary Islands. Not only is Cistus popular as a garden plant, but the leaves and stems of a few species (including Cistus ladanifer) are the source of a perfume ingredient called labdanum that has been used since the time of the ancient Egyptians. It has a long hstory in these islands - being grow by John Tradescant the Elder (c. 1570s – 15–16 April 1638),
The common name, rock rose, derives from its native rocky coastal habitat and rose-like flowers - it has no thorns! The charming rock rose flowers are usually white or pink/purple and often have distinctive maroon spots surrounding a central yellow eye. The flowers attract butterflies but each one only lasts a day. Cistus plants produce large numbers of flowers and are full of color for 2 to 3 months in the late spring or summer.
Cistus species are evergreen and eventually reach shrub-like proportions of 3 foot tall x 5 foot wide, making them popular hedge plants. As its native habitat implies, Cistus is quite heat- and drought-tolerant. It also tolerates frequent pruning, poor soils, and salt spray (but don't prune it too hard).
Believe it or not we grow Cistus in our wet-clay garden at Ballyrobert, where the soil or atmosphere is far from its native Mediterranean habitat. How? Well, as is our 'philosphy' we ignored the books and tried many different cultivars until we found one that worked! (although not necessarily thrived!) These cultivars should be available here (but not always because we aren't the best at being organised).
Although the Cistus cultivars we sell should tolerate more clay and wet than other cultivars you want to try to be as clay-free and dry as possible. "Well-drained" is the key word(words?). Good plant partners include Artemisia, Perovskia, and Stachys.