Cistus

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Cistus

 

a genus of plants of the family Cistaceae. They are shrubs, measuring up to 2 m tall, with opposite, entire, deciduous leaves. The flowers, which are up to 8 cm in diameter, are white, pink, red, or purple; they are in cymes or, more rarely, they are solitary. The fruit is capsule. There are approximately 20 species, distributed on the Canary Islands, in the Mediterranean region, and further east to Transcaucasia and Iran. These plants are characteristic of the Mediterranean maquis. Two species are found in the USSR—Cistus tauricus, which grows on the southern coast of the Crimea and in Western Transcaucasia and sage-leaved cistus (C. salvifolius), which is also found in Western Transcaucasia. Several species of Cistus are cultivated as ornamentals.