Cistus, Orchid Rock Rose, Sun Rose

Cistus x purpureus

Family: Cistaceae
Genus: Cistus (SIS-tus) (Info)
Species: x purpureus (pur-PUR-ee-us) (Info)
Additional cultivar information:(Cistus ladanifer x incanus creticus)
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun





Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:


Dark Green


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Menifee, California

North Fork, California

Oak View, California

Ontario, California

Rancho Calaveras, California

Redondo Beach, California

San Diego, California

San Leandro, California

Stockton, California

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Gold Beach, Oregon

Myrtle Creek, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Aiken, South Carolina

Austin, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

San Angelo, Texas

Springdale, Utah

Port Townsend, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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!!


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.


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.


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.


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.