Saturday, November 18, 2006
Cistaceae by Olivier Filippi
by Olivier Filippi
(translation by Sean A. O'Hara)
The flowering of the cistuses in the garrigue in spring remains one of the most beautiful spectacles of our Mediterranean landscape. The richness of the colours, the diversity their evergreen foliages and especially the robust habit of these plants makes the group quite versatile: free standing hedges for the tall varieties, large, massed groundcovers for those of medium height, mats and tumblers for low-growing or prostrate types.
All the cistuses are very drought tolerant. They prosper in good drainage. Their tolerance of akalinity and cold is specific for each variety (see the two tables below). La life expectancy of the cistuses is not very long: eight to ten years for the species, and up to fifteen years for the hybrids. The cistuses age better in difficult conditions: avoid rich soils, manure, water in summer. To increase to them life expectancy, it is good to cut them back lightly each year in the autumn for the mild winter regions or at the end of the winter for the colder regions.
It is possible to visit our "garden of rockroses" from April 15 through the end of May. There you will be able to study the flowers of all the species and hybrids presented below.