White Rockrose is a white-flowered hybrid of the popular Cistus genus, a group of evergreen ornamental shrubs prized for their bulletproof performance in the driest, sunniest, salt-sprayiest locations. This particular cultivar is one of the hardiest, rated for Zone 7. Small red buds emerge in spring that open to reveal pure white flowers and yellow centers. A great plant pick for the Pacific Northwest.
I find Rockrose interesting because it doesn’t look at all like it would be evergreen. Its leaves are soft and somewhat thin, unlike most other broadleaf evergreens.
I’ve only begun to notice them in the nursery over the last couple of years because we now have a dry, sunny area that could use a plant like cistus. Honestly, I don’t think they are much to look at when not in flower, but they are great workhorse shrubs, as evidenced by the sheer number of them planted in parking lot berms all over the metro area.
I decided to pick up three of them this year to replace the incredibly sad, sunburned Mount Vernon Laurels I had planted on an especially dry slope of the South easement. Rockrose is a much better choice for that spot, given how dry the soil was when I dug up the laurels, even though it was not yet summer!
06/2023: Planted 3 2.5qt pots in a row to replace Mt. Vernon laurels on west edge of easement slope.