I've seen this bush everywhere, and the smell of the leaves brings back REALLY strong memories for me, but I don't know what it's called. It sometimes has flowers, but not very many (usually 4-5 on a decent sized bush).

Here's some shots from the bush just outside my office at work:

Bush from afar Close up The flower

Does anyone know what this plant is called?

  • And here's a photo of the flower: imgur.com/a/2NsK3 (couldn't add it to the post, as I've got < 10 rep)
    – Grayda
    Apr 3, 2017 at 6:20
  • Feel free to edit your question with the last photo ;-)
    – Stephie
    Apr 3, 2017 at 11:11
  • @Stephie: Done :)
    – Grayda
    Apr 3, 2017 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


It's a Cistus variety, often commonly known as rock rose (though that's confusing, because the smaller but vaguely similar Helianthemum varieties are also known as rock roses). They all have these flowers which have the quality of slightly creased tissue paper, can have fragrant leaves, and come with pink, deep pink (though this colour is often described, somewhat optimistically, as 'purple' by purveyors), yellow or white flowers. They are evergreen and pretty drought resistant.

I'm not sure which variety you've shown - the leaves in the first picture are not quite the same as the leaves on the variety with pink flowers in your other picture. I'd have said, for the first one, most likely Cistus creticus, which can have pink flowers, but its flowers do not have the five dark spots shown on the flower in your second photo, hence my inability to name the variety. There are around 20 varieties of this plant - more information here http://www.daleharvey.com/Directory/A-Z+of+Plants/C/Cistus+Solid+as+a+Rock+Rose.html

  • The first and second images were taken at work, and the third image was taken a few doors up from home (the bushes look extremely similar to me, so I figured they'd be "close enough" to at least get a name). By the way, you've solved a 25 year old mystery for me. An early memory I have is sitting on a concrete pipe at kindergarten, watching the fog roll in while smelling these leaves around me.
    – Grayda
    Apr 3, 2017 at 12:23
  • @Grayda must be the warmth in your country meaning they scent the air - we grow these in the UK, probably not the same varieties, but the only time I smell them is when I'm right next to it, nose about 3 inches away, and even then only on a sunny warm day.
    – Bamboo
    Apr 3, 2017 at 23:07
  • I can smell them from about 2-3 meters away when it's raining, and maybe a meter or so further when it's wet and hot (muggy), so yeah it might be the warmth
    – Grayda
    Apr 3, 2017 at 23:43

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