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Cistus creticus - L.

Common Name Rock Rose, Cretan rockrose
Family Cistaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Amongst scrub and in bushy places on rocks, dry hills etc to 1000 metres[89].
Range Europe - Mediterranean.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Cistus creticus Rock Rose, Cretan rockrose


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cistus_creticus_Ypey100.jpg
Cistus creticus Rock Rose, Cretan rockrose
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cistus_creticus_Corse.jpg

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Cistus creticus is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in leaf all year, in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Synonyms

C. creticus. C. polymorphus. C. villosus creticus.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

The leaves are used as a tea substitute[2, 89]. The oleo-resin obtained from the leaves and stems is used as a commercial food flavouring in baked goods, ice cream, chewing gum etc[183, 238].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Emmenagogue;  Expectorant;  Stimulant.

This plant is an aromatic, expectorant, stimulant herb that controls bleeding and has antibiotic effects[4, 238]. It is used internally in the treatment of catarrh and diarrhoea[4, 238] and as an emmenagogue[4]. The leaves are harvested in late spring and early summer and can be dried for later use, or the resin extracted from them[238].

Other Uses

Resin.

The glandular hairs on the leaves yield the oleo-resin 'ladanum', used medicinally and in soaps, perfumery, fumigation etc[4, 11, 46, 61, 64, 89, 100]. This resin is an acceptable substitute for ambergris (which is obtained from the sperm whale) and so is important in perfume manufacture[238]. The resin is collected by dragging a type of rake through the plant, the resin adhering to the teeth of the rake, or by boiling the twigs and skimming off the resin[64, 89]. Most resin is produced at the hottest time of the year[46]. There is a mauve-flowered variety of this species that is the most prolific producer of the resin[245].

Cultivation details

Requires a sunny position in a dry or moist well-drained light sandy soil[11, 182]. Withstands drought once it is established[11, 184]. Tolerates maritime exposure[188, K]. Plants are hardy to about -15°c[184], but they require protection in severe winters[11]. Plants are somewhat hardier when grown in poor soils[182]. This is usually a short-lived plant in cultivation, it probably exhausts itself by its very free-flowering habit[K]. Plants often self-sow when growing in a suitable position[166]. Dislikes pruning or root disturbance[11, 200]. Plants should be pot grown and then planted out in their final positions whilst still small. Individual flowers only last one day but there is a long succession of them[11, 200]. A polymorphic species, some forms do not yield much gum[11]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[88, 200]. The flowers are very attractive to bees[108]. The leaves, which exude a balsamic resin, are especially fragrant on warm sunny days[245].

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Propagation

Seed - gather when ripe and store dry[78]. Surface sow in late winter in a greenhouse[164]. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 4 weeks at 20°c[164]. 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[164]. The seed stores for at least 3 years[K]. 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[78]. High percentage[78]. Cuttings of almost mature wood, 8 - 12cm with a heel or at a node, September/October in a frame. High percentage[78]. Lift and pot up in the spring, plant out when a good root system has formed[78]. Layering in spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Cistus albidusRock Rose10
Cistus ladaniferLabdanum, Common gum cistus22
Cistus salviifoliusRock Rose, Salvia cistus, Sage Leaf Rock Rose10
Cytinus hypocistus 11

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

1189200

Links / References

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Readers comment

michael roberts   Mon Oct 19 2009

I am not sure if the following herb is the same as Cistus creticus, but it also controls bleeding.Capparis Spiosa ( Caper bush ) is an astringent diuretic, expectorant herb that is regarded as a stimulating tonic. It is native to tropical and subtropical regions.

Natural cures Looking at the complimentary ways at which holistic cures can help people with illness and disease.

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