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Cistus Purpureus or Purple Flowered Rock Rose
Looking for a low growing shrub with pretty pink flowers to balance off your cottage, city or courtyard garden? Or perhaps something for a bank or sloped area? The Purple Flowered Rock Rose could be your evergreen of choice. A winner of the prestigious RHS Award of Garden Merit, this is one of the original Rock Rose varieties. It has a sage-green colour to its leaves which offer a very nice contrast to its deep pink flowers that appear through mid-summer.
A member of the Cistacaea Family and the Cistus Genus, the Purple Flowered Rock Rose carries its genetically characteristic evergreen shrub habit with simple leaves growing in a parallel orientation. The bowl shaped flower has 5 petals which are short lived but extend their bloom through a long period of the summer months. Cistus Purpureus is a smaller, more bushy variety with narrow green leaves. The flowers have a deep red blotch at their base with a purplish-pink colouring of the petals. They originate from the Mediterranean Regions of Southern Europe where their ancestors were commonly found growing on stony, dry hillsides. Their leaves are known to have actually been once used in the perfume industry as a source of certain oils.
Cistus Pupureus is hardy to H-4 (between minus 5 and 10) in the UK region. Its ultimate height is 0.5-1.0 metres and spreads to approximately 0.5-1.0 metres. It takes about 5-10 years to reach ultimate height and spread. The dense growth of these bushy Cistus specimens can cover ground well, hence its great fit on hillsides and sloped gardens. They are relatively easy to care for with minimal pruning required.
The Purple Rock Rose prefers well drained soil, though they need not be highly fertile. It will persist in a wide range of soils, whether chalk, sand clay or loam textures; as long as they hold moisture and drain well. Near neutral acid or alkaline soils are fine for this ornamental. It does prefer full sun and a sheltered site. Aspects of south or west facing sites are optimum.
As you might guess from its Mediterranean heritage, Cistus Pupureus is also a great choice for seaside gardens as long as the shelter and sun requirements can be met. In all, a beautiful, relatively long lived perennial with pretty pink flowers that continuously bloom through summer.
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