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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids II
Ordo: Malvales

Familia: Cistaceae
Genus: Helianthemum
Subgenera: H. subg. Helianthemum – H. subg. Plectolobum
Overview of species

H. abelardoi – H. aegyptiacum – H. aganae – H. aguloi – H. alicantinum – H. allionii – H. almeriense – H. alpestre – H. alypoides – H. andersonii – H. angustatum – H. antitauricum – H. apenninum – H. arcticum – H. asperum – H. assadii – H. berterianum – H. bramwelliorum – H. broussonetii – H. buschii – H. bystropogophyllum – H. caballeroi – H. canariense – H. canum – H. capralense – H. caput-felis – H. carmen-joanae – H. carolipaui – H. cinereoflavescens – H. cinereum – H. cirae – H. citrinum – H. × conchitae – H. confertum – H. coronadoi – H. crassifolium – H. crespoi – H. cretaceum – H. cuatrecasasii – H. cylindrifolium – H. daghestanicum – H. dianicum – H. edetanum – H. ellipticum – H. eriocephalum – H. fabadoi – H. finestratense – H. fontqueri – H. geniorum – H. georgicum – H. germanipolitanum – H. getulum – H. glaucescens – H. golondrinum – H. gonzalezferreri – H. gorgoneum – H. grosii – H. guerrae – H. guiraoi – H. hadedense – H. helianthemoides – H. hirtiforme – H. hirtum – H. × hispidum – H. humile – H. hymettium – H. inaguae – H. italicum – H. jonium – H. juliae – H. kahiricum – H. kotschyanum – H. lagunae – H. ledifolium – H. × lineariforme – H. lini – H. lippii – H. × lucentinum – H. lunulatum – H. mansanetianum – H. mariano-salvatoris – H. marifolium – H. maritimum – H. marmoreum – H. mathezii – H. × monspessulanum – H. montis-bovis – H. morisianum – H. motae – H. nebrodense – H. neopiliferum – H. nummularium – H. obtusifolium – H. oelandicum – H. ordosicum – H. orientale – H. origanifolium – H. pannosum – H. papillare – H. penyagolosense – H. pergamaceum – H. petrerense – H. pilosum – H. polyanthum – H. polygonoides – H. pomeridianum – H. protodianicum – H. pseudocinereum – H. pseudodianicum – H. raskebdanae – H. × rigualii – H. rothmaleri – H. ruficomum – H. rupifragum – H. salicifolium – H. sancti-antonii – H. sanguineum – H. sauvagei – H. schweinfurthii – H. scopulicola – H. serranicum – H. sicanorum – H. sinuspersicum – H. somalense – H. songaricum – H. speciosum – H. squamatum – H. stevenii – H. stipulatum – H. strickeri – H. × sulphureum – H. supramontanum – H. syriacum – H. syrticum – H. teneriffae – H. tholiforme – H. thymiphyllum – H. tinetense – H. tornesae – H. triregnorum – H. ventosum – H. vesicarium – H. violaceum – H. virgatum – H. viscarium – H. viscidulum – H. xixonense – H. zheguliense

Source(s) of checklist:

Hassler, M. 2019. Helianthemum. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2019. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 October 11. Reference page.

Intersubgeneric nothospecies: H. × monspessulanum

Helianthemum Mill., Gard. Dict. Abr. ed. 4: s.p. 1754.

Type species: H. nummularium (L.) Mill.


Anthelis Raf., Chlor. Aetn.: 9. 1813.
Aphananthemum (Spach) Fourr., Ann. Soc. Linn. Lyon ser. 2. 16: 340. 1868.
Type species: A. salicifolium (L.) Fourr.
Atlanthemum Raynaud, Anales Jard. Bot. Madrid 44: 315. 1987.
Type species: A. sanguineum (Lag.) Raynaud
Helianthemon St.-Lag., Ann. Soc. Linn. Lyon 7: 127. 1880.
Rhodax Spach, Ann. Sci. Nat. Bot. ser. 2. 6: 363. 1836.
Type species: non design.
Taeniostema Spach, Compan. Bot. Mag. 2: 289. 1837.

Primary references

Miller, P. 1754. The Gardeners Dictionary. Abridged. Ed. 4, Vol. 1–3 (unpaged). John & James Rivington, London. DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.79061 Reference page.


Hassler, M. 2019. Helianthemum. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2019. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 October 11. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Helianthemum in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 October 11. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Helianthemum. Published online. Accessed: October 11 2019. 2019. Helianthemum. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 October 11.
Euro+Med 2006 onwards: Helianthemum in Euro+Med PlantBase – the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Aug 28.

Vernacular names
العربية: رقروق
беларуская: Сонцацвет
català: Heliantem
čeština: devaterník
dansk: Soløje-slægten
Deutsch: Sonnenröschen
English: Sunroses
Esperanto: Heliantemo
español: Jarilla
eesti: Kuldkann
فارسی: گل آفتابی
suomi: Päivännoudot
français: Hélianthème
hornjoserbsce: Słónčnička
հայերեն: Արևանթեմ, արփեծաղիկ
italiano: Cisto
ქართული: მზეყვავილა
Nederlands: Zonneroosje
norsk: Solroseslekta
polski: Posłonek
português: Rosa-das-rochas
русский: Солнцецвет
slovenčina: devätorník
svenska: Solvändor
Türkçe: Güngülü
українська: Сонцецвіт
walon: Yantinme

Helianthemum /ˌhiːliˈænθɪməm/,[1] known as rock rose, sunrose, rushrose, or frostweed,[2] is a genus of about 110[3] species of flowering plants in the family Cistaceae. They are widely distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere, especially in the Mediterranean.[3]

New World species formerly classified as Helianthemum have been transferred to genus Crocanthemum.[4][5]


These are usually shrubs or subshrubs, and some are herbaceous annuals or perennials. The leaves are oppositely arranged, but some plants may have alternately arranged leaves along the upper stems. The flowers are solitary or borne in an array of inflorescence types, such as panicles, racemes, or headlike clusters. The flower has three inner sepals and two smaller outer sepals. It has five petals usually in shades of yellow, orange, or pink. The style at the center is tipped with a large stigma. The fruit is a capsule containing many seeds.[3]

Helianthemum are known to form symbioses with mycorrhizal fungi. In the Mediterranean they are associated with Terfeziaceae, the desert truffles. Together, plant and fungus may have a beneficial effect on the arid local landscapes, preventing soil erosion and desertification. Some symbiotic pairs include Helianthemum salicifolium and the truffle Tirmania nivea, and H. guttatum and T. pinoyi.[6]

One of the most commonly observed mycorrhizae on Helianthemum is a member of a different family, Cenococcum geophilum. This fungus is not host-specific, and it often associates with oaks, as well. Some studies suggest that Helianthemum and oaks growing together in a habitat may "share" their mycorrhizae.[7]

Helianthemum are food plants for the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, such as the large grizzled skipper and the silver-studded blue.[8] The leaf miners Bucculatrix helianthemi and B. regaella both feed exclusively on Helianthemum sessiliflorum, as does Coleophora eupreta. C. ochrea is limited to Helianthemum, and C. bilineella and C. potentillae have been observed on the genus.

Several Helianthemum species, and the numerous hybrids and cultivars derived from them, are widely grown as ornamental plants, popular in rockeries. A broader range of colours is available among the cultivars, including bright salmon-pink to dark red. They are best grown in well-drained soil in full sun, and have a long flowering period from spring to summer.[9] Numerous cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:[10]

'Amy Baring'[11] (yellow)
'Fire Dragon'[12]
'Henfield Brilliant'[13] (scarlet)
'Jubilee'[14] (pale yellow)
'Mrs C.W. Earle'[15] (red)
'Rhodanthe Carneum'[16] (pink)
'The Bride'[17] (white)
'Wisley Primrose'[18] (primrose yellow)

Selected species
Helianthemum apenninum
Helianthemum hirtum
Helianthemum alypoides
Helianthemum vesicarium

Species include:[19][20]

Helianthemum aegyptiacum
Helianthemum almeriense
Helianthemum apenninum – white rockrose
Helianthemum asperum
Helianthemum canariense
Helianthemum canum – hoary rockrose
Helianthemum caput-felis
Helianthemum cinereum
Helianthemum coulteri
Helianthemum croceum
Helianthemum guerrae
Helianthemum hirtum
Helianthemum hymettium
Helianthemum jonium
Helianthemum kahiricum
Helianthemum lavandulifolium
Helianthemum ledifolium
Helianthemum leptophyllum
Helianthemum lipii
Helianthemum lunulatum
Helianthemum marifolium
Helianthemum morisianum
Helianthemum nummularium – common rockrose
Helianthemum oelandicum – alpine rockrose (syn. Helianthemum montanum)
Helianthemum oelandicum subsp. alpestre (syn. H. alpestre)
Helianthemum oelandicum subsp. italicum (syn. H. italicum)
Helianthemum oelandicum subsp. oelandicum
Helianthemum oelandicum subsp. orientale (syn. H. orientale)
Helianthemum oelandicum subsp. rupifragum (syn. H. rupifragum)
Helianthemum origanifolium
Helianthemum pannosum
Helianthemum papillare
Helianthemum piliferum
Helianthemum pilosum
Helianthemum propinquum[21]
Helianthemum rossmaessler
Helianthemum salicifolium
Helianthemum sanguineum
Helianthemum sessiliflorum
Helianthemum songaricum
Helianthemum squamatum
Helianthemum stipulatum
Helianthemum villosum
Helianthemum virgatum
Helianthemum viscarium
Helianthemum viscidulum


Sunset Western Garden Book. 1995. 606–07.
Helianthemum. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
Helianthemum. Flora of China.
"Crocanthemum". Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2019-12-08.
Sorrie, B. A. (2011). Transfer of North American Helianthemum to Crocanthemum (Cistaceae): New combinations.[permanent dead link] Phytologia 93(2), 270-71.
Díez, J., et al. (2002). Molecular phylogeny of the mycorrhizal desert truffles (Terfezia and Tirmania), host specificity and edaphic tolerance. Mycologia 94(2), 247-59.
Dickie, Ian A.; Guza, Rebecca C.; Krazewski, Sarah E.; Reich, Peter B. (2004). "Shared ectomycorrhizal fungi between a herbaceous perennial (Helianthemum bicknellii) and oak (Quercus) seedlings". New Phytologist. 164 (2): 375–382. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2004.01177.x.
Thomas, C. D.; Glen, S. W. T.; Lewis, O. T.; Hill, J. K.; Blakeley, D. S. (1999-02-01). "Population differentiation and conservation of endemic races: the butterfly, Plebejus argus". Animal Conservation. 2 (1): 15–21. doi:10.1111/j.1469-1795.1999.tb00044.x. ISSN 1469-1795.
RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
"AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 46. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
"RHS Plant Selector - Helianthemum 'Amy Baring'". Retrieved 30 July 2020.
"Helianthemum 'Fire Dragon'". RHS. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
"RHS Plant Selector - Helianthemum 'Henfield Brilliant'". Retrieved 30 July 2020.
"RHS Plant Selector - Helianthemum 'Jubilee'". Retrieved 30 July 2020.
"RHS Plant Selector - Helianthemum 'Mrs C.W. Earle'". Retrieved 30 July 2020.
"RHS Plant Selector - Helianthemum 'Rhodanthe Carneum'". Retrieved 30 July 2020.
"RHS Plant Selector - Helianthemum 'The Bride'". Retrieved 30 July 2020.
"RHS Plant Selector - Helianthemum 'Wisley Primrose'". Retrieved 30 July 2020.
GRIN Species Records of Helianthemum. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
"Helianthemum". Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2019-12-08.
"Helianthemum propinquum". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 14 December 2017.

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