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John W. Thieret & Elizabeth McClintock, final revision by Thomas J. Rosatti & Bruce G. Baldwin, except as noted

Annual to shrub, aromatic, of sunny areas, often sandy or chalky substrates; hairs nonglandular, in stellate clumps or not, peltate or not, and/or glandular. Leaf: simple, alternate or opposite [whorled], often ± reduced, entire or not, petioled or not, stipuled or not. Inflorescence: raceme- or panicle-like cymes or flowers 1. Flower: generally bisexual, ± radial; sepals 3 or 5 (outer 2 often narrower), free or fused at very base, often persistent in fruit, 3 twisted in direction opposite that of petals; petals [0(3)]4–5, generally ephemeral; stamens (3–10) many, free, often sensitive to touch, ± persistent in fruit or not; ovary superior, chambers 1 (or ± 3–12 from intruded parietal placentas), style 0–1, stigma 1(3), lobes 0 or 3–12. Fruit: loculicidal capsule, valves 3–12. Seed: [1–]3–many.
8 genera, ± 175 species: temperate, especially southeastern United States, Mediterranean; some cultivated (Cistus; Crocanthemum; Tuberaria). [Arrington 2004 Ph.D. Dissertation Duke Univ] Flowers open in sunshine for < 1 day. Taxa of Helianthemum in TJM2 treated here in Crocanthemum. —Scientific Editors: Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Strother FNANM, in press]

Key to Cistaceae

Shrub, evergreen. Stem: < 2.5 m. Leaf: generally opposite, petioled or not; stipules 0. Inflorescence: panicle-like or flowers 1. Flower: sepals 3 or 5; petals 4–5, white (often drying ± yellow) or rose to purple, with red or yellow near base or not, often ± wrinkled; ovary 1-chambered, placentas 5, style 0 or 1, stigma large, hemispheric, 5–12-lobed. Fruit: valves 5–12.
± 20 species: Mediterranean; cultivated as ornamental. (Ancient Greek name) [Guzman & Vargas 2005 Molec Phylogen Evol 37:644–660] Plants including hybrids sometimes escape cultivation; scented resin from some species may be myrrh of biblical, other references.

Key to Cistus

C. ladanifer L. GUM CISTUS
Stem: < 2.5 m, shiny, sticky; hairs ± 0. Leaf: sessile [or not], 3–8 cm, lance-linear to narrow-oblong, main veins from base generally 3. Inflorescence: flowers 1 at ends of lateral branchlets. Flower: sepals 3; petals 3–5 cm, white, generally with red or yellow near base; style ± 0. Fruit: valves 6–12.
2n=18. Uncommon. Disturbed places; < 800 m. s Central Coast, s South Coast, Western Transverse Ranges, San Gabriel Mountains; native to southwestern Europe. Mar–Aug [Online Interchange]

Previous taxon: Cistus incanus
Next taxon: Cistus monspeliensis


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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 28 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Cistus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 28 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Cistus ladanifer Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.