Resilient Rock Rose

Rock Rose (Cistus sp.) on north side

Six years ago this month, I photographed a lovely scene on the north side of the park: a blooming purple Ceanothus next to a pink Rock Rose, both behind a bench facing toward Mt. Tamalpais. See “A Micro-idyll on the North Side,” March 5 2016. I also photographed it in April the previous year, here. The same lovely blooms are back this year, and I can’t resist photographing and posting them again. (I posted the neighboring Ceanothus just a few days ago.) Back in ’15 I said more or less everything I know about these plants, so with your forbearance I’m going to repeat it, except to add that obviously it’s a perennial, and a very resilient one:

The north side of the perimeter path, where not that many people go, is revealing a surprising array of spring flowers.  Here is a bush of rock rose (Cistus) growing directly behind a bench.  How did it get there?  These are commonly garden plants.  We who merely pass and gaze owe thanks to someone who thought to plant it there.

Rock rose have some unusual qualities.  Their roots are sometimes host to fungi such as truffles.  Some of the flowers emit volatile oils that are flammable, and in extreme heat may spontaneously catch fire.  The flowers are used in folk medicine to treat various ailments.

This particular plant has eluded precise identification. It’s clearly a cistus, but no similar species shows up in It is very probably one of the numerous garden hybrids sold commercially.

Links: Wikipedia CalFlora CalPhotos

Here’s the scene if you’re not familiar with the spot. That bench is one of the most romantic places anywhere in the park:

Rock Rose in foreground, low. Ceanopthus on left, taller. Mt. Tam on horizon.

Similar Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »