C. albanicus C. albidus C. chinamadensis C. clusii C. creticus C. crispus C. heterophyllus C. ladanifer - Gum Rockrose C. laurifolius C. libanotis C. monspeliensis - Montpelier Cistus C. munbyi C. osbeckiaefolius C. parviflorus C. populifolius C. psilosepalus C. salviifolius - Salvia Cistus C. symphytifolius C. varius
Ref: Ellul et al. (2002)
The rockrose is the name for the genus Cistus of the flowering plantfamilyCistaceae. These are perennial shrubs found on dry or rocky soils around the Mediterranean, from the Canary Islands through to the Middle East. The leaves are opposite, simple, usually slightly rough-surfaced, 2-8 cm long; in a few species (notably C. ladanifer), the leaves are coated with a highly aromatic resin-scented gum. They have showy 5-petaled flowers ranging from white to purple and dark pink, in a few species with a conspicuous dark red spot at the base of each petal. The genus Cistus contains about 20 species, and together with its many hybrids and cultivars is commonly encountered as a garden flower.
The rockroses are thermophilous plants, which require open sunny places. As with many other Cistaceae, the species of Cistus have the ability to form mycorrhizal associations with truffles (Tuber) and are thus to thrive on poor sandy soils or rocks.
The rockroses are the only host of Cytinus hypocistis, a small parasitic plant which lives on the roots and is noticeable only for a short period of time when in flower. The presence of the parasite does not seem to hurt the host population.
A flower of a species of Cistus, possibly C. ladanifer
Ellul P., M. Boscaiu, O. Vicente, V. Moreno, J. A. Rossello (2002). Intra_ and Interspecific Variation in DNA Content in Cistus (Cistaceae). Annals of Botany90(3): 345_351. (Available online: Abstract (http://www.aob.oupjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/90/3/345) | Full text (HTML) (http://www.aob.oupjournals.org/cgi/content/full/90/3/345) | Full text (PDF) (http://www.aob.oupjournals.org/cgi/reprint/90/3/345.pdf))
Page R. J. The Cistus & Halimium Website (http://www.cistuspage.org.uk/)
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