Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sun Rose, Orchid Rock Rose
Cistus x purpureus

Family: Cistaceae
Genus: Cistus (SIS-tus) (Info)
Species: x purpureus (pur-PUR-ee-us) (Info)

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

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)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest

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 semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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By philomel
Thumbnail #1 of Cistus x purpureus by philomel

By Lenjo
Thumbnail #2 of Cistus x purpureus by Lenjo

By philomel
Thumbnail #3 of Cistus x purpureus by philomel

By Ulrich
Thumbnail #4 of Cistus x purpureus by Ulrich

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Thumbnail #5 of Cistus x purpureus by gacarnegie

By OregonCoastSeth
Thumbnail #6 of Cistus x purpureus by OregonCoastSeth

By RWhiz
Thumbnail #7 of Cistus x purpureus by RWhiz

There are a total of 21 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral palmetto3703 On Apr 2, 2012, palmetto3703 from Mico, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I just ordfered and recieved 4 each of these plants, I imdeately opend the box and planted/watered them in the full Texas Hill Country sun, Zone 8B. In response they immideatly wilted. I do have some clay in my garden soil and about 4-6" pine straw mulch, I have removed them to dappled shade with some sand arround the roots to premote really good drainage!! They look some what better!! Is the sun hotter here in Texas than "Full Sun"?? elsewhere?? I dont get it!! what am I doing warong?? HELP!!

Positive hermero On Jul 16, 2011, hermero from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

This grows well here in Portland, OR in spite of the rather cool and moist spring and summer we've had this year. Doesn't seem to be bothered by pests. The lupine nearby is a magnet for aphids, but none appear on the Cistus. Needless to say, I don't have to water this plant. One source says to prune and fertilize with 10-10-10 once a year before blooming.

Positive SkeptikSharon On May 26, 2011, SkeptikSharon from Ontario, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Grows great in my yard in Ontario, California (southern Cali). It sits in full sun all day, and does not seem to be even slightly fazed by the 110 degree days we get during the summer. It gets very little attention from us, though it does get some water from the sprinkler system. It does require some shaping now and then to keep it from covering a window. The flowers are very pretty.

Positive suewylan On Jul 28, 2010, suewylan from North Fork, CA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Grows wonderfully here at 3000 ft with little water. Every morning dozens of flowers, which have a crushed silk look to them, bloom, then fall away by evening. Four ft tall and wide after four years from gallons.

Positive philomel On May 17, 2002, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenes
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

A lovely sunrose (in the UK we call Helianthemum rock rose) which when happy and in full sun on a not too rich soil is smothered in flushes of flowers over a long period. Each flower last only one day, but there is a seemingly endless succession from the attractive pointed buds.

The foliage has a pleasant resinous scent. It comes easily from cuttings.


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

Kingman, Arizona
Acton, California
Alameda, California
Calistoga, California
Cardiff By The Sea, California
Crockett, California
Fairfield, California
Gilroy, California
Jacumba, California
Manhattan Beach, California
Manteca, California
North Fork, California
Oak View, California
Ontario, California
Rancho Calaveras, California
Redondo Beach, California
San Diego, California
San Leandro, California
Stockton, California
Gold Beach, Oregon
Myrtle Creek, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Aiken, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
San Angelo, Texas
Springdale, Utah
Port Townsend, Washington

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