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.
Cistus albidus was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 in Species Plantarum (p. 524). The specific epithet albidus means "whitish", referring to the leaves and shoots. A 2011 molecular phylogenetic study placed C. albidus as the sister to Cistus creticus in the purple and pink flowered clade 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.
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, and Morocco.
- "Cistus albidus", The Plant List, retrieved 2015-03-02
- "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- 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
- Coombes, Allen J. (1994), Dictionary of Plant Names, London: Hamlyn Books, ISBN 978-0-600-58187-1, p. 42
- 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
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