Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Cistus skanbergii

Common Name
Pink Rockrose
CA Native
Non-native
Plant Type
Shrub
Size
2' - 3' x 3' - 4'
Flower Color
Pink
Bloom Time
  • Spring
Leaves
Gray-Green
Evergreen
Evergreen
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Bees
Growth Rate
Moderate
Hardiness
Hardy
Adverse Growth Factors
None
Special Features
  • Low Maintenance
  • Showy Flowers
Water Use
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Low
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
Exposure
Soil Type
Not Particular
Drainage
Good Drainage
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

Cistus skanbergii is a low-growing, dense, evergreen shrub with soft gray-green foliage that produces huge numbers of pale pink flowers in the spring with a smattering of flowers throughout the rest of the summer. It tolerates poor soil, heat, wind, drought and seaside conditions. It can be used as a dry bank ground cover and is especially good for erosion control on slopes.

Plant slightly above grade in well-drained soil.  Likes full sun and is drought tolerant once established. Tip pinch young plants to thicken growth. This plant resents hard pruning.

Cistus attracts bees and other nectar seeking insects.

No serious diseases or pests.

 

Master Gardener Comments

I use this rockrose because the spring bloom completely covers the plant. It also will bloom sporatically all summer long. It is an incredibly tough little shrub and survives in on a very hot, dry slope in my back garden. It needs no summer water once established.

Varietals

C. purpureus - pink flowers with burgandy spots

C. monsepeliensis 'Vicar's Mead' - creamy-yellow, saucer-shaped flowers

C. purpureus 'Alan Fradd'arge' - white flowers with a chocolate brown basal blotch

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