Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

 Latin Name 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)
 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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