Purple Flowered Rock Rose

Availability: Out of stock

Rugged and Beautiful!

Driving through the rugged Portuguese countryside, our guide pulled off next to a rocky field blooming profusely with purple flowers. "You must smell our sheep."

"Come again?" we replied.

He smiled. "You must smell our sheep. They smell amazing."

We picked our way across the field to where a small flock of sheep were grazing. They were winding in and out of the flowers and had a sticky substance on them. We dutifully leaned in for a whiff. Definitely sheep smell...but also, something else. It was a sweet familiar smell. Expensive perfume?

"It smells like cologne, no?" our guide asked. "It is the flowers." He waved his hand over the field.

The flowers were Purple Rock Rose (Cistus x purpureus) and they were lovely. Compact heat loving shrubs covered in very showy purple-rose blossoms with a maroon spot at the base of each petal and a center of golden-doubloon stamens. These beauties are the ancient source of labdanum, the base of perfumes since the Egyptians first oiled their beards. The oily sap was gathered by shepherds from the fur of their grazing sheep.

You don't need a herd of sweet smelling Portuguese sheep to enjoy these great plants, though.

Purple Rock Rose is an easy plant to grow in any Mediterranean climate. It thrives in drought, poor soil and even a little neglect! They are awesome rock garden accents and are good massed together. They are evergreen and grow tall enough to be a wonderful background border plant. It has nice grey-green foliage that's gives an extra texture to rugged conifers and shaggy perennials. Purple Rock Rose is great for the Hell Strips between the sidewalk and the street.

These evergreens bloom all spring and summer and add rich color wherever you put them. Buy yours from us today!

  • Hardy
  • Beautiful Rose-Purple Blooms
  • Grey-Green Foliage
  • Drought Tolerant

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with NatureHills.com and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 18.99
20 - 49.99 21.99
50 - 69.99 24.99
70 - 99.99 29.99
100 - 129.99 34.99
130 - 149.99 41.99
150 - 150+ Approx 27%

Click here to see our full rates

Sweet Smelling, Drought Tolerant

One of the most popular of all Rockroses, Cistus x purpureus is first described by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, in the Encyclopedie par ordre des matieres, in 1786. Lamarck was a French naturalist and one of the early proponents of biological evolution.

Developed sometime in the mid 1700's, Cistus x purpureus is a cross of the Cistus ladanifer and the Cistus creticus, two Mediterranean varieties of the Rockrose.

The hybrid cross, noted originally as a variety yielding fragrant oils, became a popular garden variety in a short time. This is likely do to the low compact habit, the beautiful blooms, and the wide range of climates the Cistus x purpureus was adapted to. This was most noted in coastal gardens and climates with high humidity, where, unlike other Rockrose varieties, the Purple Flowered, or Orchid Rockrose thrived.

It was recognized in the United States in 1928, by Liberty Hyde Bailey, an American horticulturist and botanist, as well as cofounder of the American Society for Horticultural Science. In 'The Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture', he is quoted as proclaiming the Purple Flowered Rockrose as being one of the most beautiful rockroses.

This is an extremely drought tolerant plant needing almost no water once established. It's highly recommended for drought tolerant or xeriscape plantings. Purple Flowered Rockrose is considered a VERY LOW water user by the California Department of Water Resources, Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCOLS) list, requiring little water after being established.

As with all Cistus or rockrose varieties, this is a fire-resistant plant lists and considered a great choice for defensible space planting in a firewise landscape.


Purple Flowered Rock Rose Is Suited to Grow in Zones 7-10
Growing Zones 7-10
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Cistus x purpureus
Mature Height 4 - 5 feet
Mature Spread 4 - 5 feet
Sun Exposure Full Shade
Soil Well Drained
Moisture Low
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Purple, Pink, Burgundy
Foliage Broadleaved Evergreen
Foliage Color Green
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Fruiting Time Fall