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Grey-leaved cistus

Cistus albidus
Rock rose family (Cistaceae)

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Cistus albidus, the grey-leaved cistus, is a shrubby species of flowering plant in the family Cistaceae, with pink to purple flowers, native to south-western Europe and western north Africa.


Cistus albidus grows up to 1 m (3 ft) tall. Its leaves are oblong to elliptical in shape, usually 2–5 cm (0.8–2.0 in) long by 0.5–2 cm (0.2–0.8 in) wide. They have three prominent veins and are densely covered with short hairs, producing a greyish-white appearance. The flowers are arranged in cymes of one to seven individual flowers, each 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) across with five purple to pink petals and five sepals.

Taxonomy and phylogeny

Cistus albidus was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 in Species Plantarum (p. 524). The specific epithet albidus means "whitish", referring to the leaves and shoots.

A 2011 molecular phylogenetic study placed C. albidus as the sister to Cistus creticus in the purple and pink flowered clade (PPC) of Cistus species. C. creticus is found largely in the eastern Mediterranean, and the distributions of the two species show little overlap. They are able to hybridize, producing the fertile hybrid C. × canescens.

The sister group to both species is C. heterophyllus.


Cistus albidus is native to the west of Southern Europe and western North Africa, particularly around the Mediterranean, including Portugal, Spain, the Balearic Islands, France, Corsica, Italy, Sardinia, and Morocco.


External links

  • Page, R.G. (n.d.) [2002 onwards], "Cistus albidus L.", The Cistus & Halimium Website, archived from the original on 2015-04-02, retrieved 2015-03-09
  • "Cistus albidus". Plants for a Future.



WWW info

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Leaf size Leaf shape Leaf edge Twig Bark Height Seed Seed shell Flower Flower type Type
Leaf size  < 5 cm      Leaf shape  normal      Leaf edge  smooth  Twig  opposite   Bark  smooth Height  < 5 m Seed Seed shell  soft Flower Flower type  roset Type  Deciduous
< 5 cm normal smooth opposite smooth < 5 m soft roset Deciduous
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