A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

header photo

Rock Roses

Sunday was a day when the cistus came out in all its glory. The warm sunshine encouraged every flower on every bush to flower. The white flowers seen here are sage-leaved cistus (Cistus salvifolius) but in amongst them is the odd Cretan cistus with its lovely purple flower.

Cistus exudes a gum, Ladanum, which is said to be collected from the leaves in hot weather by dragging a rake-like implement through the bushes. This was probably the source of myrrh. 

The resultant dark brown gum is fragrant smelling and bitter tasting and is used in perfumes and medicinal pastes.

Go Back