12 Feb

Aromatic Flowering Shrub: Cistus Ladanifer

Cistus is a genus of evergreen flowering shrubs from the Mediterranean climates. Known for their colorful and variety of flowers, Cistus are excellent addition to any garden where they offer a long flowering spell in early summer. Originally growing is rocky plains and mountains, these colorful flowering shrubs are commonly known as Rock Rose because of their ability to grow in poor rocky soil and resemblance of flowers to old-fashioned single rose flowers.

Cistus Ladanifer, The Rock Rose Shrub

Cistus Ladanifer, Image by Joan Simon (flickr)

There are more than 20 species of Cistus, all of them are evergreen shrubs ranging from 1.5 to 2 meters in height. Flowers of Cistus have 5 showy petals of purple, pink, white or cream colors. A number of hybrids and cultivars are also available; however, the most popular of these flowering shrubs is Cistus Ladanifer. It is grown for ornamental purposes and to extract aromatic material, Labdanum, which is naturally found in the leaves of Cistus Ladanifer. Ladbanum is commercially sold and is used as an important ingredient in several perfumes.  The plant is characterized by its white flowers with a yellow center and maroon spots at the base.

Most species of Cistus can be grown easily from seeds. These flowering shrubs prefer a sunny spot where they receive average water and are protected from frost.

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