Cistus salviifolius

Cistus salviifolius in North Crete.

Cistus salviifolius, common name Sage-leaved Rock Rose or Salvia Cistus, is a perennial ligneous plant of Cistaceae family.


The genus name Cistus derives from the Greek words κίσϑος (kisthos) meaning basket , while the species name salviifolius refers the wrinkled leaves similar to those of the sage.


Cistus salviifolius has spreading stems covered by clumpy hairs. This bushy shrub reaches on average 30–60 centimetres (12–24 in) in height, with a maximum of 100 centimetres (39 in). The oval-shaped green leaves are 1 to 4 centimeters long, opposite, reticulate, tomentose on both sides, with a short petiole (2-4 mm).

The inflorescence holds one or more round flowers, long-stalked, arranged at the leaf axils. The five white petals have a yellow spot at the base, forming a corolla 4-6 cm in diameter. The stamens are also yellow and the anthers shed abundant yellow pollen. This plant is pollinated by insects entomophily, especially bees. The flowering period extends from April through May. The fruit is a pentagonal capsule, 5-7 mm long.

Cistus salviifolius (white flower)  and Cistus Creticus (pink flower) North Crete.


Cistus salviifolius cultivated in the nursery industry, and grown in gardens and public landscapes, often for its drought-tolerant and pollinator habitat attributes.


This showy wildflower is native to the Mediterranean region, in southern Europe  and parts of Western Asia and North Africa.


This plant prefers dry hills, scrubs and open woodlands, at an altitude of 0–1,200 metres (0–3,900 ft) above sea level. It grows very quickly after a fire.