Cistus ladanifer L.


Large shrub to over 2 m tall. Leaves lanceolate, stalkless, 3-nerved at the base only, upper surface sticky, lower surface white hairy. Flowers solitary to about 7 cm wide. Sepals 3. Petals white with maroon blotch at the base; summer.

Europe, N Africa

f. latifolius Duveau is occasionally offered and is closely related to this species. It differs in having leaves white hairy below and petals white. [C. palhinhae Ingram].

Many of the hybrids encountered in gardens have C. ladanifer as one of the parents; these include C. ×cyprius (C. ladanifer × C. laurifolius) and C. ×purpureus Lam. (C. ladanifer × C. incanus subsp. creticus), the latter sold as 'Brilliancy' which, according to Alston (1991) was listed by the Victorian Hodgins Nursery catalogue of 1941 as a 'splendid new variety'.

Provides a resin, laudanum, that is used in perfumery.

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Cistaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Malvales
family       Cistaceae
genus        Cistus L.