May – Cistus

Cistus are strangely difficult to get established but once they are established they get better and better.

They are the perfect plant for a Mediterranean garden.  They need no summer irrigation and come in a variety of colours, forms and sizes.  Those that are sold here are often in quite large pots and the tap root hasn’t had a chance to grow down in the way it needs to so often the plant dies after a couple of years.  I try to buy them as small as possible and now that I have a few different varieties I’m taking cuttings.

Cistus x purpureus has already outgrown its quoted size of 1m x 1m

I thought this was C. ‘Silver Pink’ when I bought it, but the colour is more intense, it has nice sage coloured foliage, I think it is C. creticus

Cistus albidus, no blotches on this pure strongly coloured example

C. corbariensis

C. corbariensis, a gift from a friend, was one of the first shrubs I planted in the Left Hand Border.  It didn’t have a label and I thought it would be taller than it is so planted it at the back of the border, this is OK as its flowering season is shorter than some of the other Cistus so it flowers and then disappears behind other plants, although I love its pure white colour and am trying to strike cuttings to have it elsewhere in the garden too.

Cistus skanbergii has very pale delicate flowers

Cistus ladanifer

I have seeds that I collected from the beach last summer of Cistus saliifolius that I’m hoping will germinate.

There is also a collection of yellow cistus which I would love to see and maybe add to the garden too.