by Stephen Mifsud
   25 Jul 2024      ()
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Cistus monspeliensis   (White Rockrose)

Cistus monspeliensis  (CISTACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Nov-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Cistus monspeliensis - datasheet created on Nov-2007. Retrieved from on 25-Jul-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Cistus monspeliensisL.
Published in Sp. Pl. : 524 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Stephanocarpus monspeliensis Spach
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Cistaceae Juss. (The Rock-rose Family)
6 species from the Cistaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

White Rockrose, Narrow-leaved Cistus, Narrow-leaved Rock Rose

Maltese name(s) :

Ċistu abjad, Borgħom Abjad

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Nano-Phanerophyte ( small trees to large shrubs, usually <5 m )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Protected by law: Schedule III and VI of [S.L. 549.44] (strictly protected species)

Red List (1989) :

Threatened status for the Maltese Islands and has been listed in the Red Data Book (1st ed.)

Flowering Time :

March – May

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

Cistus: An old greek name for the Rockrose derived from 'kistos' which means an evergreen shrub. (Greek origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Encouraged to be planted in the wild that is in rural areas including ODZ.

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Botanical Description: Compact bush up to 100 cm, erect, viscid. Leaves 15-50 x 4-8 mm, linear-lanceolate or linear, 3-veined, green and sparsely pubescent above, densely stellate-tomentose beneath, sessile. Cymes 2- to 8-flowered, unilateral. Sepals 5, the outer ovate, broadly cuneate at base. Flowers 2-3 cm in diameter, white. Style very short.
Chromosome number: 2n=18
Distributional range: S. Europe

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Albania, the Balaeric Islands, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
? AE(G) Ag Al Bl Ca dCa(C G H P T) Cg Co Cr Ct Cy Ga(F) Gr Hs(S) It Lu Ma Md(M P) Sa Si(M S) SM Tn Tu(A) [aGe]

Links & Further literature (1 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Fumana laevis (Cav.) Pau (Cistaceae): new to the flora of Malta, and considerations on Fumana (Dunal)Spach from Maltese Flora Stephen Mifsud  (2012)
Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (11 images)
   Cistus monspeliensis   -   Image Code: CISMS-0.
   Cistus monspeliensis   -   Image Code: CISMS-1.
   Cistus monspeliensis   -   Image Code: CISMS-2.
   Cistus monspeliensis   -   Image Code: CISMS-3.
   Cistus monspeliensis   -   Image Code: CISMS-4.
   Cistus monspeliensis   -   Image Code: CISMS-5.
   Cistus monspeliensis   -   Image Code: CISMS-6.
   Cistus monspeliensis   -   Image Code: CISMS-7.
   Cistus monspeliensis   -   Image Code: CISMS-8.
   Cistus monspeliensis   -   Image Code: CISMS-9.
   Cistus monspeliensis   -   Image Code: CISMS-10.

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Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
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Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Ghajn Abdul (Xlendi), Fields East of Salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi). GPS co-ordinates are also welcomed!
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