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Helianthemum nummularium Growing Guide

Grow Common Rock Rose in your Garden

The Helianthemum nummularium plant is an evergreen that is native of Europe. It has a trailing nature. It carries yellow or pink saucer shaped flowers in late spring and the start of summer; these look quite similar to roses, hence their common name of 'rock-rose'.

The plants like an alkaline dry environment and are natively found on chalk downs. Flowers only last for one day but as the plants carry a multitude of flowers it stays in bloom for a couple of months.

Common Rock Rose

Helianthemum photograph by Leonora (Ellie) Enking.

This is a great plant to grow if you want to attract bees to the garden as rock-rose is a rich source of nectar. The leaves also act as food source that attracts butterflies, moths, and beetles to the garden.

These can make great ground cover in south facing gardens exposed to a lot of sun. Space at about 2.5 inches (8 cm) if growing as cover.

Quick Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific name: Helianthemum nummularium
  • Common Name (s): Common Rock Rose, Rock-rose, Flower of the sun
  • Growing Zone (USA / UK Hardiness): 5 to 7 / H5

Plant Details

  • Life Cycle/Type: Evergreen shrub
  • Plant Height: 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm)
  • Plant Spread: 24 to 36 inches (60 to 90 cm)
  • Blooms: Late Spring and early summer
  • Flower Details: Yellow, pale pink, deep red. Five petals. Rose like. Saucer shaped. Short-lived.
  • Leaf Foliage Details: Paired. Lance shaped. Grey-green. Up to 2 inches long (6 to 10 cm)

Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: Full sun
  • Suitable Soil Types: Sandy, rocky, chalky
  • Suitable Soil pH: Alkaline
  • Soil Moisture: Dry
  • Sowing, planting, and Propagation:
  • Care: Winter mulch in cooler areas. Shear to encourage further growth and to maintain shape following blooming.

Further Information

  • Best used for: Ground cover. South facing garden.
  • Miscellaneous : An individual flower only blooms for one day. Blooming period for up to two months. Synonym: Cistus helianthemum. Rich in nectar that attracts bees to the garden.
  • Family: Cistaceae
  • Further Reading and References used: Wikipedia; MBG



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Common Garden Species
Index – A

Alchemilla mollis
Aleurites moluccana
Allamanda cathartica
Allium aflatunense
Allium caeruleum
Allium giganteum
Allium Globemaster
Allium moly
Allium schoenoprasum
Alnus glutinosa
Aloe vera
Amaranthus retroflexus
Amaryllis belladonna
Ambrosia artemisiifolia
Amelanchier alnifolia
Amelanchier canadensis
Ammi majus
Anemone blanda
Anemone coronaria
Anemone hupehensis
Anemone sylvestris
Anethum graveolens
Annona reticulata
Anthurium andraeanum
Antirrhinum majus
Aquilegia vulgaris
Aralia elata
Araucaria araucana
Araucaria heterophylla
Arbutus unedo
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Argyranthemum frutescens
Armeria maritima
Aronia melanocarpa
Artemisia absinthium
Artemisia vulgaris
Arum italicum
Aruncus dioicus
Arundo donax
Asarum europaeum
Asclepias curassavica
Asclepias incarnata
Asclepias syriaca
Asclepias tuberosa
Asimina triloba
Asparagus densiflorus
Aspidistra elatior
Asplenium nidus
Astrantia major
Athyrium filix-femina
Aucuba japonica

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