This genus from the Mediterranean region fortunately grows exceptionally well in our mild climate. These evergreens are called Rockroses for their conspicuous single papery blooms, resembling wild rose blossoms. Though these last only a day, they arrive in such profusion, carpeting the ground beneath, that one can count on color for 2 or 3 months.
Fast growing and appreciative of well drained sites, they tolerate drought, poor soil, ocean winds, salt spray and even desert heat. Cistus vary from low spreaders to tall, imposing bushes, and are terrific for informal hedging and screens.
From afar, its easy to mistake this Cistus’ pure white, 5 in. wide flowers for those of a Romneya. Against cinnamon-colored stems and two-toned leathery leaves that are a glistening bright green on top and silver beneath, the frilly, unusually large, gold-centered blooms deliver an awe-inspiring presentation.
Yielding a sticky, sweetly fragrant resin known as Labdanum, the vigorous growing ‘Bennett’s White’ can be planted with Lavandula ‘Ana Luisa’ in a dry Mediterranean garden where its superlative flowers and pleasant aroma will undoubtedly turn quite a few heads.
Size: 4' 0" – 5' 0" high x 4' 0" wide.
Hardy to zone 8.
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Other selections in this genus:
- Cistus x aguilarii ‘Maculatus’
- Cistus ‘Ann Baker’
- Cistus ‘Anne Palmer’
- Cistus creticus f. albus ‘Tania Compton’
- Cistus x dansereaui ‘Decumbens’
- Cistus x dansereaui ‘Jenkyn Place’
- Cistus ‘Jessamy Beauty’
- Cistus ‘Little Gem’
- Cistus monspeliensis ‘Vicar’s Mead’
- Cistus x oblongifolius
- Cistus palhinhaii ‘Red Eye’
- Cistus x pauranthus ‘Natacha’
- Cistus populifolius
- Cistus x purpureus ‘Alan Fradd’
- Cistus ‘Silver Pink’
- Cistus ‘Snow Fire’
- Cistus ‘Snow White’