Cistus albidus

Cistus albidus, the grey-leaved cistus,[2] is a shrubby species of flowering plant in the family Cistaceae, with pink to purple flowers, native to south-western Europe and western north Africa.

Cistus albidus
CISTUS ALBIDUS - AGUDA - IB-614 (Estepa blanca).JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Cistaceae
Genus: Cistus
C. albidus
Binomial name
Cistus albidus


Cistus albidus grows up to 1 m (3 ft) tall. Its leaves are oblong to elliptical in shape, usually 2–5 cm (0.8–2.0 in) long by 0.5–2 cm (0.2–0.8 in) wide. They have three prominent veins and are densely covered with short hairs, producing a greyish-white appearance. The flowers are arranged in cymes of one to seven individual flowers, each 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) across with five purple to pink petals and five sepals.[3]

Taxonomy and phylogenyEdit

Cistus albidus was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 in Species Plantarum (p. 524).[1] The specific epithet albidus means "whitish", referring to the leaves and shoots.[4]

A 2011 molecular phylogenetic study placed C. albidus as the sister to Cistus creticus in the purple and pink flowered clade (PPC) of Cistus species. C. creticus is found largely in the eastern Mediterranean, and the distributions of the two species show little overlap. They are able to hybridize, producing the fertile hybrid C. × canescens.[5]

The sister group to both species is C. heterophyllus.

Species-level cladogram of Cistus species.

  Halimium spp.  


  Cistus crispus  


  Cistus asper  

  Cistus chinamadensis  

  Cistus horrens  

  Cistus ocreatus  

  Cistus osbeckiifolius  

  Cistus palmensis  

  Cistus symphytifolius  


  Cistus heterophyllus  


  Cistus albidus  

  Cistus creticus  

  Halimium spp.  


  Cistus clusii  

  Cistus munbyi  


  Cistus inflatus  

  Cistus ladanifer  

  Cistus laurifolius  

  Cistus libanotis  

  Cistus monspeliensis  

  Cistus parviflorus  

  Cistus populifolius  

  Cistus pouzolzii  

  Cistus salviifolius  

  Cistus sintenisii  

  Whitish Pink
Species-level cladogram of Cistus species, based on plastid and nuclear DNA sequences.[5][6][7][8]


Cistus albidus is native to the west of Southern Europe and western North Africa, particularly around the Mediterranean, including Portugal, Spain, the Balearic Islands, France, Corsica, Italy, Sardinia,[3] and Morocco.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Cistus albidus", The Plant List, retrieved 2015-03-02
  2. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls), Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26, retrieved 2014-10-17
  3. ^ a b Warburg, E.F. (1968), "Cistus albidus", in Tutin, T.G.; Heywood, V.H.; Burges, N.A.; Valentine, D.H.; Walters, S.M. & Webb, D.A. (eds.), Flora Europaea, Volume 2: Rosaceae to Umbelliferae, Cambridge University Press, p. 283, ISBN 978-0-521-06662-4
  4. ^ Coombes, Allen J. (1994), Dictionary of Plant Names, London: Hamlyn Books, ISBN 978-0-600-58187-1, p. 42
  5. ^ a b c Civeyrel, Laure; Leclercq, Julie; Demoly, Jean-Pierre; Agnan, Yannick; Quèbre, Nicolas; Pélissier, Céline & Otto, Thierry (2011), "Molecular systematics, character evolution, and pollen morphology of Cistus and Halimium (Cistaceae)", Plant Systematics and Evolution, 295 (1–4): 23–54, doi:10.1007/s00606-011-0458-7, S2CID 21995828
  6. ^ Guzmán, B. & Vargas, P. (2009). "Historical biogeography and character evolution of Cistaceae (Malvales) based on analysis of plastid rbcL and trnL-trnF sequences". Organisms Diversity & Evolution. 9 (2): 83–99. doi:10.1016/j.ode.2009.01.001.
  7. ^ Guzmán, B. & Vargas, P. (2005), "Systematics, character evolution, and biogeography of Cistus L. (Cistaceae) based on ITS, trnL-trnF, and matK sequences", Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 37 (3): 644–660, doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.04.026, PMID 16055353
  8. ^ Guzman, B.; Lledo, M.D. & Vargas, P. (2009). "Adaptive Radiation in Mediterranean Cistus (Cistaceae)". PLOS ONE. 4 (7): e6362. Bibcode:2009PLoSO...4.6362G. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006362. PMC 2719431. PMID 19668338.

External linksEdit