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Useful Temperate Plants

Cistus salviifolius

L.

Cistaceae

+ Synonyms

Cistus apricus Timb.-Lagr.

Cistus arrigens Timb.-Lagr.

Cistus elegans Timb.-Lagr.

Cistus fruticans Timb.-Lagr.

Cistus humilis Timb.-Lagr.

Cistus microphyllus Timb.-Lagr.

Cistus platyphyllus Timb.-Lagr.

Cistus rhodanensis Timb.-Lagr.

Cistus sideritis C.Presl

Cistus velutinus Timb.-Lagr.

Common Name: Sage-leaf Rock Rose

No Image.

General Information

Cistus salviifolius is an evergreen shrub of compact habit; it grows around 60cm tall[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
89
Title
Flowers of the Mediterranean.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O. and Huxley. A.
Publisher
Hogarth Press
Year
1987
ISBN
0-7012-0784-1
Description
A very readable pocket flora that is well illustrated. Gives some information on plant uses.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Mediterranean region - Portugal to Greece and Bulgaria; Morocco to Libya; Turkey

Habitat

Dry woods, thickets and banks, often on acid soils and on limestone, from sea level to 1200 metres in the Alpes Maritimes[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
89
Title
Flowers of the Mediterranean.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O. and Huxley. A.
Publisher
Hogarth Press
Year
1987
ISBN
0-7012-0784-1
Description
A very readable pocket flora that is well illustrated. Gives some information on plant uses.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Shrub
Height0.60 m
PollinatorsBees
Self-fertileYes

Cultivation Details

Cistus salviifolius is native to the Mediterranean region, with its hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters. It is not very hardy outside the milder regions of the temperate zone, able to tolerate winter temperatures dipping occasionally to around -8°c so long as the soil is fairly dry[
184
Title
Shrubs.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1989
ISBN
0-330-30258-2
Description
Excellent photographs and a terse description of 1,900 species and cultivars.
]. A covering of bracken or leafy branches in severe weather is a help, and will often save plants that would otherwise perish[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
]. Plants are also somewhat hardier when grown in poor soils[
182
Title
Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1992
ISBN
0-7195-5043-2
Description
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
].
Cistus species generally grow best in a sunny position in a well-drained light sandy soil[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
182
Title
Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1992
ISBN
0-7195-5043-2
Description
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
190
Title
The Dry Garden.
Publication
 
Author
Chatto. B.
Publisher
Dent
Year
1982
ISBN
0460045512
Description
A good list of drought resistant plants with details on how to grow them.
]. Tolerates maritime exposure[
188
Title
The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Publication
 
Author
Brickell. C.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-86318-386-7
Description
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
].
Plants are apt to be short-lived[
182
Title
Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1992
ISBN
0-7195-5043-2
Description
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
].
Individual flowers only last one day but there is a long succession of them[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The flowers are very attractive to bees[
108
Title
Garden Plants Valuable to Bees.
Publication
 
Author
International Bee Research Association.
Publisher
International Bee Research Association.
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
The title says it all.
].
Dislikes pruning or root disturbance[
182
Title
Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1992
ISBN
0-7195-5043-2
Description
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Plants should be pot grown and then planted out in their final positions whilst still small[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
In cultivation, Cistus species will often hybridize freely with other members of the genus[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
This species is closely related to Cistus hirsutus[
182
Title
Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1992
ISBN
0-7195-5043-2
Description
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
].
Cistus species form ectomychorrizal roots, developing symbiotic relationships with various mychorrizal fungal species, mainly belonging to the genus Lactarius[
1272
Title
Genus Cistus: a model for exploring labdane-type diterpenes’ biosynthesis and a natural source of high value product
Publication
Frontiers in Chemistry Vol 2, Article 35, June 2014
Author
Dimitra Papaefthimiou, Antigoni Papanilkolaou et al
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. This relationship aids the plants in water and nutrient uptake often helping the host plant to survive adverse conditions whilst, in exchange, the fungal symbiont is provided with access to carbohydrates.

Edible Uses

The dried leaves are used as an adulterant for marjoram (Origanum majorana)[
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
,
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
].

Medicinal

We have no specific information for this species, but various of the species in this genus are used in traditional medicine in the Mediterranean to treat a range of conditions including colds and fevers; digestive problems and diarrhoea; skin diseases; rheumatism and other inflammatory diseases[
1271
Title
The flavonol-enriched Cistus albidus chloroform extract possesses in vivo anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive act
Publication
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 209 (2017) 210-218
Author
Ouahiba Tahiria; Dina Atmani-Kilani et al
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
0378-8741
Description
 
,
1272
Title
Genus Cistus: a model for exploring labdane-type diterpenes’ biosynthesis and a natural source of high value product
Publication
Frontiers in Chemistry Vol 2, Article 35, June 2014
Author
Dimitra Papaefthimiou, Antigoni Papanilkolaou et al
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Research has shown that Cistus species contain a wealth of medicinally active compounds such as terpenoids (including diterpenes, labdane-type diterpenes and clerodanes); phenylpropanoids (including flavonoids and ellagitannins); several groups of alkaloids; and other types of secondary metabolites[
1272
Title
Genus Cistus: a model for exploring labdane-type diterpenes’ biosynthesis and a natural source of high value product
Publication
Frontiers in Chemistry Vol 2, Article 35, June 2014
Author
Dimitra Papaefthimiou, Antigoni Papanilkolaou et al
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
Considerable research has been carried out into the properties of these compounds - the following are some that apply to this species
The resin, ladanum, secreted by the glandular trichomes of this species, contains a number of phytochemicals with antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer properties[
1272
Title
Genus Cistus: a model for exploring labdane-type diterpenes’ biosynthesis and a natural source of high value product
Publication
Frontiers in Chemistry Vol 2, Article 35, June 2014
Author
Dimitra Papaefthimiou, Antigoni Papanilkolaou et al
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
Preparations of C. Salviifolius aqueous extracts were able to generate strong antioxidant activities in a dose-dependent manner, using several free radical scavenging methods[
1272
Title
Genus Cistus: a model for exploring labdane-type diterpenes’ biosynthesis and a natural source of high value product
Publication
Frontiers in Chemistry Vol 2, Article 35, June 2014
Author
Dimitra Papaefthimiou, Antigoni Papanilkolaou et al
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Agroforestry Uses:

A good ground cover plant[
208
Title
Plants for Ground Cover
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons
Year
1990
ISBN
0-460-12609-1
Description
An excellent detailled book on the subject, very comprehensive.
]. The form 'Prostratus', which grows around 30cm tall and is somewhat hardier that the species, has been recommended[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
197
Title
Ground Cover Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Royal Horticultural Society.
Publisher
Cassells.
Year
1989
ISBN
0-304-31089-1
Description
A handy little booklet from the R.H.S.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - gather when ripe and store dry[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
]. Surface sow in late winter in a greenhouse[
164
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 4.
Publication
 
Author
Bird. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1990
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. A good article on Yuccas, one on Sagebrush (Artemesia spp) and another on Chaerophyllum bulbosum.
]. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 4 weeks at 20°c[
164
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 4.
Publication
 
Author
Bird. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1990
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. A good article on Yuccas, one on Sagebrush (Artemesia spp) and another on Chaerophyllum bulbosum.
]. Seeds in the wild are more likely to germinate following a forest fire[
1272
Title
Genus Cistus: a model for exploring labdane-type diterpenes’ biosynthesis and a natural source of high value product
Publication
Frontiers in Chemistry Vol 2, Article 35, June 2014
Author
Dimitra Papaefthimiou, Antigoni Papanilkolaou et al
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
 
], so it could be worth giving the seedlings heat treatment by placing a small amount of fast-burning flammable material on top of them and then allowing it to burn for perhaps 20 - 30 seconds[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle into individual pots. Grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out the in the following spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts[
164
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 4.
Publication
 
Author
Bird. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1990
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. A good article on Yuccas, one on Sagebrush (Artemesia spp) and another on Chaerophyllum bulbosum.
]. The seed stores for at least 3 years[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Cuttings of softish to half-ripe wood, 8cm long with a heel or at a node, June/August in a frame. Roots are formed within 3 weeks[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
]. High percentage[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
].
Cuttings of almost mature wood, 8 - 12cm with a heel or at a node, September/October in a frame. High percentage[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
]. Lift and pot up in the spring, plant out when a good root system has formed[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
].
Layering in spring.

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