Cistus salvifolius

Cistus salvifolius

Cistus (rockrose)

These are understandably popular in the North County. Some outstanding characteristics include drought tolerance, relative deer resistance and a prolific spring bloom. Flower colors are white and many shades of pink.

The lowest growing variety is Cistus salvifolius, a white flowered variety that grows two by six feet. Cistus ‘Sunset’ is a hybrid with vivid neon pink flowers that makes a great ground cover, growing about three feet high and up to ten feet wide. ‘Bennett’s White’ is a handsome white flowered variety with a particularly attractive leaf.  It grows five to six feet tall.  The giant of the genus is ‘Blanche’, growing to ten feet.

A hybrid that adds color to the garden, regardless of its flowers, is Cistus ‘Mickie’, with variegated green and yellow leaves. The plant is spreading, growing to about a foot and a half by three feet. The white flowers in the spring are an added bonus. This rockrose looks very attractive all year long.