Cistus, Purple Rock Rose: Topped By Stunning 3.5″, Lavender-Pink Flowers

Cistus, Purple Rock Rose: Topped By Stunning 3.5″, Lavender-Pink Flowers


Photo Compliments of Dave Spindle

Cistus x purpureus, or more commonly called purple rock rose is a hybrid of two Mediterranean species, originally hybridized for fragrant oil production. Purple rock rose is a 3 foot tall by 5 foot wide shrub with narrow, dark green foliage. The blooming period is late spring, when the shrub is topped by stunning 3 to 5 inch, lavender-pink, papery flowers.

Throughout the growing season Purple Rockrose will produce a bounty of crepe paper like flowers that are lavender-pink with distinct stamens that are pastel yellow. The flowers are dappled with large maroon splotches at the base of each petal. This color combinations makes these flowers quite attractive and interesting.

Purple Rockrose is a tough shrub that is extremely drought tolerant and heat resistant. It is perfect for areas of your yard that receive a good amount of indirect light and reflected heat. This cistus is a must have addition to any Xeriscape garden. Purple Rockrose is perfect for dry, arid rock gardens, as well as any landscape close to the sea because they take the cold ocean breezes, and salt sprays with ease.  Purple Rockrose is hardy to about 15°F (-10°C).  Keep in mind that shelter from the drying winter winds is always a good precaution for this cistus.

How To Make Your Cistus Thrive

Maintenance is relatively easy as this plant is very care free. It only requires occasional pruning in early spring to remove any damaged branches, to control growth and to maintain shape. The plant does not need regular fertilizing. If need be Purple Rockrose can be sheared to keep the size very manageable. Even though maintenance is fairly simple it is good to keep in mind that they can be short-lived plants without proper maintenance. Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.

General Cistus Information

Pests & Diseases

Generally pest free


Propagate by seed or by softwood cuttings.

Garden Uses

Great for borders, can be used in containers, erosion control, firescaping, used as a hedge, and mass planting.  It is ideal for cottage and informal gardens, city and courtyard gardens

Quick Facts

Plant Type: Shrub

Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen

Flower Color: Purple

Blooms: Late spring into summer

Foliage Color: Green

Hardiness Zones: Zones 8 to 11

Light Needs: Full sun

Water Needs: Once established, needs only occasional watering

Height: 3 to 5 feet

Width: 4 to 7 feet

Growth Rate: Moderate

Growth Habit: Compact, rounded

Flower Attributes: Fragrant (subtle), showy flowers

Special Features: Deer resistant, easy care, improved pest and disease resistance, drought tolerant

Photo Search

Google – Cistus Purple Rock Rose Photos

Flicker – Cistus Purple Rock Rose Photos

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  1. What a great plant, I love the texture of those flowers.

  2. Such striking blooms! Really lovely.

  3. Where in Seattle can I find this to buy?
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