Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Laurel-leaved Rock Rose
Cistus laurifolius

Family: Cistaceae
Genus: Cistus (SIS-tus) (Info)
Species: laurifolius (law-ree-FOH-lee-us) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 8 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive purplesun On Oct 16, 2009, purplesun from Krapets
Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is the hardiest rock rose and one of approximately three species, native to Bulgaria.
It emits a pleasant aroma when bruised or in hot weather, and blooms nicely. Doesn't like to be shaded or crowded out by other plants, or else it looks tattered, like mine does.
Provide as much sunshine as possible and plant at least several, to compensate for the sparse foliage.

Positive saya On Aug 5, 2008, saya from Heerlen
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

I grow this shrub from seeds collected in wild. I have different Cistus in my garden, so plants will not come not true from its seeds. Robert G. Page: "...Seed, unless collected in the wild, will not usually breed true. This is because most species are self-incompatible (one individual's flowers require pollen from a different individual to produce fertile seed). In the wild this presents no problem, although hybrids do commonly appear, but in cultivation an isolated plant or even a group propagated commercially from the same stock plant will often not be capable of self-pollination and therefore any fertile seed produced must have arisen from pollination by a different species or hybrid grown nearby..." In the garden they are easy shrubs. Perfect wintergreen! Not all Cistus are hardy, but C. laurifolius is one that can have very low temps. What I love the most of it is the scent of its sticky foliage. Some Cistus exude a highly aromatic gum or resin, called ladanum or labdanum, which has been used in incenses since ancient times and is a valuable ingredient of perfumes. Even with humid weather, but more in warm sunshine it scents the air..a sultry heavy fragrance that makes me long for the sunshine and warmth of France or Italy.. Sometimes I can find my home in the street by using my nose.. In 2008/2009 we had a harsh winter and for about three weeks temps that went down to -22 C (-7.6 F). It has survived this without a blink and has stayed perfectly wintergreen as always.

Positive pokerboy On Sep 24, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

Don't prune back int old wood as it will not re shooted. Very beautiful for a drought tolerant plant. Drought tolerant. pokerboy.

Positive smcglash On Oct 6, 2002, smcglash wrote:

Easy to grow, requires very little care. Grows quickly and gets quite large - 3'. Blooms (June) pass quickly : ( but folliage is very nice. In Pacfic NW watering is virtually unnecessary (draught tolerant).

Positive smiln32 On Aug 28, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Rockroses can be pinched or lightly pruned for bushiness, but they do well without being pruned at all. Each flower on this plant lasts for only one day. The foliage is also lightly aromatic.

Neutral jody On Aug 31, 2001, jody from MD &, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

prune after flowering


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Ontario, California
Grand Junction, Colorado

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