Herbs & Plants

Helianthemum nummularium

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Botanical Name: Helianthemum nummularium
Family: Cistaceae
Genus: Helianthemum
Species:  Helianthemum   nummularium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Synonyms: Helianthemum chamaecistus. Mill. Helianthemum vulgare. Gaertn.

Common Names:, Common RockroseSun Rose, Rock Rose

Habitat: Helianthemum nummularium is native to most of Europe. It grows on the basic grassland and scrub, to 600 metres.

Helianthemum nummularium is an evergreen tralling Shrub growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.
It is plant with loose terminal clusters of bright yellow, saucer-shaped flowers. In the flower centre is a tight cluster of orange stamens, which are sensitive to the touch, and spread outwards to reveal the tall stigma in the middle. The plant is common on chalk downs, and occasional in other grasslands, always on dry, base-rich soil. The wild species has yellow flowers, but garden varieties range from white through yellow to deep red.

Though the individual blooms are short-lived, the plant produces a mass of flowers through the summer. It needs a dry, sunny place, like a south-facing rockery or meadow. As the Latin name Helianthemum suggests, these are sun-flowers. This is a good nectar source for bees and there are several species of small beetle that feed on the foliage. Common rock-rose is also the food plant for the larvae of several species of moth and butterfly.

It flowers from May until July.


The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Landscape Uses:Alpine garden, Border, Ground cover, Rock garden, Specimen. Requires an open sunny position in a light well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5 and 8. Plants are hardy to at least -10°c. A vigorous plant suitable for the rock garden, crevices in walls or gravel beds. Plants are short-lived, though, soon becoming leggy or sparse, and require fairly frequent replacement. The flowers only open in bright sunshine. Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible. A polymorphic species, there are some named forms that have been selected for their ornamental value. Plants are generally pest and disease-free. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Attracts butterflies.
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 6 – 8cm with a heel, late summer in a sandy soil in a frame.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Terror’, ‘Panic’ and ‘Extreme fright’. It is also one of the five ingredients in the ‘Rescue remedy’.

Other Uses:
A prostrate growing plant, it can be used as a ground cover.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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