It is difficult to pick a plant of the month in June when everything is looking at its freshest best, but there is one plant that stands out because it serves as a ‘workhorse’ as well as an ornamental shrub and that is Cistus corbariensis.


This rockrose is a fast-growing flowering shrub with dense, dark green leaves with a somewhat papery texture that makes them appear delicate but this species is actually durable and evergreen and is an attractive shrub in the winter border.


It’s simple, small white flowers have yellow centres and cover the plant in late spring and early summer, attracting all kinds of pollinators.  Each flower lasts only a day but somehow, the shrub blooms on and on for weeks, its pointy buds adding a unique feature that helps show the blossoms off.


This shrub is easy to grow as they are hardy, drought tolerant, salt tolerant, heat tolerant, and don’t mind poor soil though it can develop root rot when planted in poorly drained soil.  Growing to 1-1.5 metres (3-5 feet), rockroses do not like being heavily pruned, so it is best to shape gently and remove the older branches soon after they finish blooming.  Do not plant this one somewhere where its size or relaxed growth habit is not in keeping with its surroundings.


Cistus corbariensis is a natural hybrid that comes from the Corbières Mountains in southern France, hence its specific epithet.  Its genus name comes from the ancient Greek word kisthos, meaning basket.


Here at Denmans Garden, our specimen is planted in combination with golden leafed Choiysia beside a blue bench for a beautiful tableau.