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CISTUS ladanifer 'Frank Birch'

Image of Cistus ladanifer 'Frank Birch'

Family

Cistaceae

Botanical Name

CISTUS ladanifer 'Frank Birch'

Plant Common Name

Common Gum Rockrose, Frank Birch Rockrose

General Description

A relatively large rockrose that is also notable for its aromatic foliage and palm-sized white flowers, Cistus ladanifer is native to Southwest Europe and Northwest Africa. The flowers of the cultivar 'Frank Birch' lack the purple basal blotches typical of the species. The crinkled, five-petaled blooms appear in late spring and early summer, and sporadically at other seasons. A ruff of yellow stamens adorns each flower's center. The lance-shaped, fragrant, sticky leaves are dark green above and gray-green beneath. They are paired along erect stems that eventually reach head height.

This sun-loving shrub likes well drained soil and needs relatively dry summers. It resents excessive heat, cold, or humidity. Overly moist or fertile soil will shorten its life. This beautiful and drought-tolerant rockrose is perfect for dry slopes, borders, and rock gardens.

The aromatic oil of this species was once a coveted substitute for the ancient perfumer’s ambergris.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 7

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-6' / 0.9m - 1.8m

  • Width

    3'-6' / 0.9m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Southern Europe, Northern Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No