Shrubs or subshrubs, usually aromatic. Leaves opposite, petiolate to sessile; stipules absent. Flowers in cymes, rarely solitary, mostly 2–10 cm diam., showy; sepals 3 or 5; petals 5, mostly white or pink, yellow basally, crumpled, readily falling; stamens numerous, much shorter than petals; carpels 5(–12). Fruit a 5(–12)-valved loculicidal capsule.
About 20 species mainly from the Mediterranean region; 5 species naturalised in Australia.
Commonly cultivated due to their large showy flowers and drought tolerance. See Clarke (2005) for a detailed discussion of the occurrence and distribution of Cistus species in Victoria.
Clarke, I. (2005). 'Wild' Cistus L. (Cistaceae) in Victoria - future problem weeds or benign escapees from cultivation?, Muelleria 21: 77-86.