Cistus ladanifer var. petiolatus ‘Bennetts White’
Plant of the month: January
Cistus ladanifer var. petiolatus ‘Bennetts White’, the sun rose can be seen on the bank outside the Growing Schools Garden.
This Cistus along with several others is enjoying being baked on this warm bank. The relatively poor soil, with good drainage is ideal for these plants as they originate on dry, stony or rocky soils in the Canary Islands, N. Africa and S. Europe.
The showy, saucer like flowers with petals that look as if they are made of paper, positively glow in the sun, but each flower only lasts a day. Fortunately, the plant produces so many of them they flower for ages.
Flower colours are limited to pink and white but there are many cultivars with spots and blotches in red, crimson and yellow to provide variety.
The shrub can spread over 1.5m and can be lightly pruned after flowering. They are not one hundred percent hardy in this area and can be quite short lived, so take plenty of softwood cuttings in the summer.