Rockrose, Rose of Sharon, Cistus Ladanifer

cistus ladanifer

Rockrose, Rose of Sharon, Cistus Ladanifer:

This is the best plant substitute for ambergris (from sperm whales) and is important in perfume manufacture. It is an aromatic stimulant and expectorant herb that controls bleeding and has antibiotic effects. Beautiful flowers, bloom most of the summer. Perennial.

Common names: Labdanum, Common gum cistus



The Cistaceae family is  primily distributed primarily in the temperate areas of Europe and the Mediterranean basin, but also found in North America; a limited number of species are found in South America.

Most Cistaceae have the ability to create symbiotic relationship with root fungi. These fungi assis the root system in absorbing water and minerals from the soil, and thus allows the host plant to dwell on particularly poor soils.
For those wanting to cultivate truffles: rockroses can to create mycorrhizal relation with truffle mushroom.

The leaves of some rockrose species produce a highly aromatic resin known as labdanum.This sticky liquid has long been used in herbal medicine and as an ingredient in perfumes. In some countries, an infusion of the leaves is used to treat diarrhoea.
Cistus species are used as anti-diarrhetics, as general remedies for treatment of various skin diseases in folk medicine and as anti-inflammatory agents.

This fast-growing evergreen shrub stands up to heat, strong winds, salt spray and drought without complaint, and once established it needs very little care.
Plant the shrubs in a location with full sun and deep soil where they can put down spreading roots. They grow in almost any type of soil as long as it drains freely, including poor soils where other shrubs struggle to take hold. Rockrose plants are hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 through 11.


Family: Caryophyllaceae

Height + Width:

Frost Hardiness: Hardy in Katoomba




Country of Origin: Eastern Cape of South Africa


Common names: African Dream Root, Undlela Ziimhlophe (White Ways/Paths), Ubulawu



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