WSU Clark County Extension

PNW Plants Searchable, categorized images

Orchid Rockrose

Scientific name: Cistus purpureus

Type:Evergreen shrubs
Plant Requirements
Zone:7 to 10
Sun:Full sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:5 ft
Width:5 ft
Bloom:Summer flowers
Bloom Time:May to August
Bloom Color:Purple
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Orchid Rockrose is best recognized by the profusion of single papery blossoms which resemble those of wild roses. The rose-purple blooms have distinctive maroon spots.

This is an evergreen shrub which grows to 4’-6’ across and as wide. It features oblong-lanceolate leaves which are 2” long and arranged in an opposite fashion. The leaves are dull gray green on the upper surface and lighter beneath.

Flowers are 2”-3” across and typically appear in clusters of 3. Each flower has 5 petals. The distinctive red spot is at the base of each petal. The stamens are bright yellow. Though these last only a day, they arrive in such profusion, carpeting the ground beneath, that one can count on color for 2 or 3 months.

Orchid Rockroses grow quickly to their full height and width. They do best on well drained soils and can tolerate drought, salt spray and high summer temperatures. If planted in groups this species can make a great hedge or screen. On slopes they do well in holding back erosion.

None reported.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234