Orchid Rockrose

Scientific Name: Cistus purpureus (hybrid)

Fact Box:

  • Order: Malvales
  • Family: Cistaceae
  • Genus: Cistus
  • Species: Cistus purpureus (C. ladanifer x C. creticus)


A flourishing evergreen shrub, spotted with magenta flowers, stands outside one of the entrances to the Buddha Hall in the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. The pink five-petaled flowers have a bold black spot on each petal near the center of the flower. In the middle, a ring of bright yellow stamens stands out from the delicate petals.

Another characteristic of this plant is its low maintenance needs. This rockrose does not require much watering and is quite at ease in environments with high heat and low moisture. What’s more, the colorful shrub can survive in poor soils.


The orchid rockrose is a hybrid of two species in the rockrose family: Cistus ladanifer and Cistus creticus. The former is also known as “gum rockrose,” and its flowers are usually white. The creticus — aka pink rockrose — is, therefore, what gives the orchid rockrose its color.