CISTUS Ladanifer – Gum Rockrose – is a bush/woody plant, growing up to 2m high, with solitary very large showy flowers of 4 petals, up to 10cm in diameter!
The petals are white, with a little yellow spot on the base; like a ‘nail’, sometimes with another purple spot overlying.
The fruit is a rounded capsule, with a dense cover of fur.
It grows on siliceous soils, chalks and granites, from sea level, to 1,500m above sea level, preferably in dry and sunny grounds.
Flowering from May through to June, with fruiting taking place during the summer months. The capsule opens as the temperatures increase, releasing a large number of very small seeds, which are easily carried by the wind.
The branches and leaves are imbued with a sticky and aromatic substance, called ladano resin, used in the fragrance industry as the base of several smells.
It is also used for healing, as it has a sedative, antiseptic effect.