• Overview
    Light Needs:
    Full sun
    Watering Needs:
    Once established, water occasionally; more in extreme heat or containers.
    Average Landscape Size:
    Moderate growing; reaches 4 ft. tall, 4 to 6 ft. wide.
    Key Feature:
    Durable Summer Color
    Late Spring into Summer
  • Detail
    Botanical Pronunciation:SIS-tus per-PU-re-us
    Plant type:Shrub
    Sunset climate zones:6 - 9, 14 - 24
    Growth habit:Compact, Round
    Growth rate:Moderate
    Average landscape size:Moderate growing; reaches 4 ft. tall, 4 to 6 ft. wide.
    Foliage color:Green
    Blooms:Late Spring into Summer
    Flower color:Purple
    Flower attributesShowy Flowers
    Garden styleMediterranean, Rustic
    Design IdeasThis popular Rock Rose is at home in the traditional landscape and the rugged dryland garden. Beautiful in bloom, it looks fine as a single specimen or in a group to fill overly large planting areas. Makes a heat-tolerant background and foundation plant for full sun plantings. Fits along fence lines and spreads enough to be a filler too. Its muted foliage color and unique textural quality is valuable for complementing rugged conifers and wild-looking perennials. Even does exceptionally well in the reflected heat street side or along the driveway.
    Companion PlantsAloe (Aloe); Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum); Yarrow (Achillea); Sedum (Sedum); Red Yucca (Hesperaloe); Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe)
  • Care
    Care Information
    Grows easily in average to poor, well-drained soils. Water deeply, regularly during the first growing season to establish an extensive root system. Once established, reduce frequency; tolerates moderate drought. Apply a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. For a formal appearance, prune annually after flowering.Pruning time: summer after flowering.
    Light Needs:
    Light needs: Full Sun
    Full sun
    Watering Needs:
    Water needs: Low
    Once established, water occasionally; more in extreme heat or containers.
  • History & Lore
    Oil rich rockroses cloak the arid Mediterranean region from Portugal to Italy. Early breeders of the 1820s sought to coax more cold hardy plants for cultivation in the north for oil production. Later M. Edouard Bernet of Antibes became the Cistus specialist and between 1860 and 1875 he was responsible for over 230 new cultivars. Though long out of favor as the demand for oil evaporated, only the ornamental varieties such as C. x purpureus remain in cultivation.
    Oil harvested from the rockrose plants was known as labdanum, a valuable alternative to rare whale ambergris in the ancient perfume trade.