It’s hard to imagine a plant more deserving of a place in the early summer garden than Cistus, also known as the sun rose
As tulips lose their shape and the apple blossom goes over, cistus comes into flower and, along with peonies, helps to bridge the flowering gap until roses begin in earnest in mid-June. And what flowers they are! Single, flat and saucer-shaped, with five thin petals, they are creased like tissue paper when they first unfold and come in either white or shades of pink, depending on the variety. Each lasts for only one day, but the plant is so covered in buds that you can depend on new ones opening daily over at least a three-week period.
Originally from the Canary Islands, it likes a very well-drained – even stony – soil in full sun. They look best with other Mediterranean shrubs, such as Rosemary, Lavender and Santolina. As it flowers at the same time, it combines beautifully with Ceanothus ‘Blue Mound’. It also goes well with Genistas, Piptanthus nepalensis, Convolvulus cneorum and rock roses (Helianthemums).