Cistus x purpureus or Rock Rose

Cistus Purpureus

Cistus Purpureus or Cistus x Purpureus is part of the Cistaceae family of plants. They also call it Rock Rose, Purple-Flowered Rock Rose, Cistus Purpureus ‘Betty Taudevin, Cistus crispus, or Orchid Rockrose. It is a beautiful Mediterranean shrub, which is deer-resistant and used for fire-scaping. This plant is evergreen and native to Southern Europe.

Cistus Purpureus is a hybrid the parents are Cistus creticus and C. ladanifer. Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck (1744-1829) first described this plant in 1786, in the Encyclopédie méthodique par ordre des matières. He was a French naturalist.

This is a hardy plant that can withstand temperatures as low as -9ºC or 15ºF. It also tolerates coastal locations as it tolerates sand and salt. It grows to about 4′ – 6′ or 1.2 to 1.8m.

Cistus Purpureus has fragrant flowers, and blooms late spring into summer. It has purplish-pink flowers with yellow centers. They have five petals and a dark purple spot at the base of the petals, and only last a day but there are many. The leaves are wavy at their edges and are opposite, and simple, they are aromatic, and coated with a resin name labdanum.

Cistus Purpureus, Rock Rose
Beautiful flowers of Cistus x Purpureus or Rock Rose

How to grow Cistus Purpureus:

Sunlight Requirements: Cistus Purpureus thrives in full sun, so it’s essential to provide it with a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Ensure that the plant has access to abundant sunlight to promote optimal growth and flowering.

Soil Conditions: This shrub prefers well-drained soil, so it is crucial to select a planting location with soil that allows excess water to drain freely. Avoid waterlogged or heavy clay soils, as they can lead to root rot and other issues. If your soil tends to retain water, you can improve drainage by adding organic matter or creating raised beds.

Watering: Cistus Purpureus is known for its drought tolerance and does not require excessive watering once established. Water the plant regularly during its first growing season to help it establish a strong root system. Afterward, you can reduce the frequency of watering and rely on natural rainfall. However, during extended dry periods, it is advisable to provide supplemental water to prevent excessive stress on the plant.

Soil Fertility: Purple Rockrose is known to adapt well to poor soil conditions. It can grow in nutrient-deficient soils, making it a suitable choice for areas with less fertile soil. However, if you want to enhance its overall health and flowering performance, you can incorporate organic matter or compost into the soil before planting. This will provide some additional nutrients and improve soil structure.

Disease and Pest Resistance:

Cistus Purpureus is generally disease-free and pest-free, which makes it a low-maintenance plant. However, it is always good practice to monitor your plants regularly for any signs of pests or diseases. If necessary, treat any issues promptly with appropriate organic or chemical controls.

Pruning: To encourage abundant flowering and maintain an attractive shape, prune Cistus Purpureus after it finishes flowering in the summer. Trim back any dead or damaged branches, as well as any overly long or unruly growth. Avoid pruning too heavily, as this can reduce the plant’s vigor and potentially inhibit the next season’s flower production.

Cistus Purpureus
Beautiful Cistus Purpureus or popularly called Rock Rose


You can propagate Cistus Purpureus either from seeds or softwood cuttings. If you choose to start from seeds, collect them when the seed pods have dried and split open. Sow the seeds in well-drained soil in a nursery tray or small pots. Keep the soil consistently moist until germination occurs.
Softwood cuttings can be taken during the early summer when the plant is actively growing. Choose healthy, non-flowering shoots and take cuttings around 4 to 6 inches in length. Dip the cut end into a rooting hormone and place the cuttings in a well-draining propagation medium. Provide the right amount of moisture and warmth, and roots should develop within a few weeks.

By following these guidelines for growing Cistus Purpureus, you can enjoy the beautiful and resilient Purple Rockrose in your garden. Its vibrant flowers and drought tolerance make it a great choice for adding color and interest to dry, sunny areas. With minimal care and attention, this shrub can thrive and provide you with years of enjoyment.

Also, read about Cistus albidus

How useful was this?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 1 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Share This Page: