Cistus Populifolius (Poplar-leaved Rock Rose)

Though each flower only lasts a day, from early to late summer, the red sepals of the buds open to reveal crinkly white tissue paper flowers with bright yellow stamens.

Bees love them. The evergreen foliage is aromatic and the plant could reach 1 to 1.5m where it is happy.

Grow this in full sun on well drained, even poor soils – think Mediterranean. They dislike root disturbance, heavy pruning and limey soils. Can be short lived.

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Hardiness traffic light amber

Hardiness level Amber

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“Beauty is such a fleeting blossom how can wisdom rely upon its momentary delight?” Seneca the Younger in one of their more morose moments. We’d recommend getting out and doing something useful with a spade, although who’s to say he wasn’t footing a ladder close to a thicket of Cistus and letting his mind wander?

True, each of the crinkly white tissue paper flowers last only one day but there are a lot of them, square-ended and tousled and dotted with the yellowest yellow centres. These blooms are produced with great generosity over a decent stretch through July and August, and bees absolutely adore them.

The evergreen foliage is dense and very attractive, too, aromatic when brushed against and they each have a lovely ruffly edge and a downward, slightly lacrimose arc. Forming a finely textured globe or rounded dollop shape this shrub could reach about 1 to 1.5m in a location where it is truly happy.

Grow this in full sun on well drained, even poor soils – think Mediterranean, think walled garden and sunny corners with lots of terracotta and probably things like Lavender and Olives, too. Essential.

They dislike root disturbance and heavy pruning so consider carefully the spot you want them to be in (we can do that for you, it’s what our Garden Designers do best) and if you’ve got a limey soil all is not lost. Take heart and source the biggest and grandest vessel (we do those, too) and pot them into something ericaceous. They can be short lived but are most certainly more than a momentary delight...



N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.



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Continent of Origin

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