The collection of Labdanum.


Cistus Incanus from Crete.



Cistus Creticus/Incansus.

What Is Cistus Incanus?
Cistus incanus, or pink rock rose, is a low-growing flowering shrub with pink flowers that belongs to the family Cistaceae. It is sometimes known as Cistus creticus. Pink rock rose has other names in various regions of the world, including rock rose, hairy rock rose, and soft-hairy rock rose. It is native to southern Europe and the area around the eastern Mediterranean but has been transplanted to and naturalized in other areas of the world, such as California in the United States.
This plant and at least one other closely related species have been prized since ancient times as the source of the substance labdanum, also known as ladanum. This sticky resin, derived from the sap of Cistus incanus has been used for centuries as an ingredient in perfumes and incense. Today, it is still a popular and important component of many perfumes, scented soaps and bath products, and flavorings for candies and other foods.
Ancient peoples used a unique method for collecting the resin from these plants. Goats were allowed to graze among the Cistus incanus shrubs, and the resin would adhere to the hair of their coats, which was then shorn and boiled. The resin, which is not soluble in water, would eventually rise to the surface and would be skimmed off for later use. This complex and time-consuming process made labdanum a rare and highly prized commodity among ancient peoples. Today, modern techniques have made this process much more efficient.
Gardeners and landscapers favor the pink rock rose for its beauty and toughness. Cistus incanus is known for its ability to thrive in poor soils and in dry conditions. Its roots are known for being very resistant to fire, and it is often one of the first plants to sprout anew after fire destroys the vegetation in an area where it grows. It prefers uncultivated soils and does not require much water.
Pink rock rose flowers have five petals surrounding a center of bright yellow. The petals, which may range in color from deep pink to pale pink, purple or even white are usually wrinkled in appearance. Its foliage, traditionally used to make tea in some regions of Greece, is often described as hairy or fuzzy and is covered with fine, soft hairs.
Cistus incanus makes a good ground cover, as it will gradually form a thick, lush layer that bears pink flowers in great numbers in the spring. As an evergreen, its attractive foliage can be enjoyed year-round. It will not tolerate extreme cold and only grows in areas where winter temperatures do not drop below 10 Fahrenheit (about -12 Celsius).

The plant Cistus Creticus spp. Creticus belongs in the family Cistaceae and is synonym:
1. Cistus Incanus.
2. Cistus Villosus.
3. Cistus Polymorphus.

Labdanum from cistus creticus is the myrrh Old Testament.

"The Adoration of the Magi" El Creco Dominikos Theotokopulos(He comes from area of labdanum).

Myrrh is mentioned in the Bible (Psalm 45:8; Song of Solomon 4:14) and is believed to have been a mixture of myrrh and the oleoresin labdanum. One of the three gifts the Magi brought to Jesus Christ (Matthew 2:11) was myrrh. Myrrh gum resin was also used as a stimulant tonic and is even used today as an antiseptic in mouthwashes as well as to treat sore gums and teeth.



Sises Rethimno Crete Greece Mediterranean Europe.

Area in Northern Crete

Sises is a village in northern Crete where there is produces ladanum only of all the world with the following characteristics:
1. Labdanum or ladanum produces from the plan Cistus Creticus.
2. Also It produces with an ancient and traditional way.

Labdanum or ladanum from this plan (Cistus Creticus) and with the impressing traditional method of produce has THE BEST quality.

It exists in the Municipality Milopotamoy and the Municipality Malebizioy. 



"In ancient times the valuable aromatic gum ladanum was gathered manually from Cistus creticus subsp. creticus, especially in Crete and Cyprus. The gum is exuded from glandular hairs on the leaves and young stems, especially under hot sunshine. It was gathered by allowing goats to graze on and among the plants; the ladanum adhered to their beards, which were then cut off. Alternatively a device called a ladanisterion or ergastiri, with long thongs of leather, was drawn over the plants by hand during the hottest part of the day, when the ladanum was at its runniest and stickiest.. The leather thongs became caked with ladanum, which was then scraped off and formed into lumps of various shapes. A very small amount of ladanum is still gathered in this traditional way in a small area surrounding a village in northern Crete."



The collection labdnum is really difficult work.

The collection labdnum, with the old ancient way, is really difficult work. It becomes under boiling hot helium of summertime.

Nevertheless many times over participate also women.


Period of collection: MAY - AUGUST

Conditions of collection: sunlight with temperature above 30 C and it prevails stillness.

The microclimate of region of village Sises Rethimno is the mainer reason that prevails still this way in this point from the all world.


Tool of the ladanum or labdanum (ladanesterion).

In past.

1.Tool 1700 just as Joseph Pitton de Tournefort
The tool was constituted by leather leads by the season of Pedanios Dioskurides 1 century AC. and in order that describes the French botanist in his travel in Crete in 1700.

Today. With labdanum.

2.Tool today .
Today they have been replaced with plastic.

Weight : 2-4 Kgr.