By Kadriye Sorkun, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey
Cistus laurifolius is the most important source of pollen for Apis mellifera honeybees in Turkey
Other names Rock rose
Cistus sp. are indigenous to the Mediterranean area from Spain to Anatolia and northern Greece in Europe, and North and South America. Various species of Cistus are cultivated world-wide as ornamental garden shrubs, but they are unable to survive severe winter conditions.
An evergreen shrub, 1-3 m tall. Their brightly coloured flowers are present in great profusion, each lasting for one day only.
Leaves: ovate, sometime lanceolate.
Flowers: white petals. Sepals not cordate at base. Cistus flowers have very high pollen production.
Flowering: one period a year, from May to June.
Pollen: Tricolporatae, reticulatae ornamentation. 12 flavonoid glycosides, glycones isolated and identified and rich in carbohydrate.
Uses: Cistus seed is rich in starch granules. Cultivated Cistus make attractive garden plants. The aromatic resin (laudanum) produced by Cistus leaves is used in medicines.
DAVIS,P H (1969) Flora of Turkey Volume One. Edinburgh University Press, UK. HEYWOOD,V H (1978) Flowering plants of the world. International Projects Ltd, Oxford, UK.
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ORTIS,P L; POLO,I M (1992) Pollen collected by Apis mellifera L. during one day. Boletim da Sociadate Brote riana 65: 2,43-60.
ORTIS,P L (1994) The Cistaceae as food resources for honeybees in South West Spain. Journal of Apicultural Research 33: 3, 136-144.
TOMAS,L F; GARCIA,G M M; NIETO,J L; TOMAS,B F (1992) Flavonoids from Cistus ladanifer bee pollen. Phytochemistry 31 (6): 2027-2029.
[Bees for Development Journal #53]