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Botanical Name : Cistus albidus
Species: C. albidus
Common Names: Rock Rose, Grey-leaved cistus
Habitat :Cistus albidus is native to the west of Southern Europe and western North Africa, particularly around the Mediterranean, including Portugal, Spain, the Balearic Islands, France, Corsica, Italy, Sardinia, and Morocco. It grows on the garigue, rocky places on limestone soils and open pine forest.
Cistus albidus is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate. Its leaves are oblong to elliptical in shape, usually 2–5 cm (0.8–2.0 in) long by 0.5–2 cm (0.2–0.8 in) wide. They have three prominent veins and are densely covered with short hairs, producing a greyish-white appearance. The flowers are arranged in cymes of one to seven individual flowers, each 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) across with five purple to pink petals and five sepals.
It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained light sandy soil. Prefers a calcareous soil. Withstands drought once it is established. Tolerates maritime exposure. One of the hardiest species in this genus, tolerating temperatures down to about -15°c and surviving all but the coldest winters in Britain, it is however apt to be short-lived. Plants are somewhat hardier when grown in poor soils. Individual flowers only last one day but there is a long succession of them. Dislikes pruning or root disturbance. Plants should be pot grown and then planted out in their final positions whilst still small. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus.
Seed – gather when ripe and store dry. Surface sow in late winter in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 4 weeks at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle into individual pots. Grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out the in the following spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seed stores for at least 3 years. Cuttings of softish to half-ripe wood, 8cm long with a heel or at a node, June/August in a frame. Roots are formed within 3 weeks. High percentage. Cuttings of almost mature wood, 8 – 12cm with a heel or at a node, September/October in a frame. High percentage. Lift and pot up in the spring, plant out when a good root system has formed. Layering in spring.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.
The leaves are used as a tea substitute. The dried leaves are sometimes used as an adulterant for marjoram (Origanum majorana).
Not yet known.
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