Growing Guide for Helianthemum

Helianthemum - Perennial Plant, How to grow

How to grow Helianthemum

From the Greek helios, the sun, and anthemon. a flower (Cistaceae). Sun Rose. A genus of evergreen and semi-evergreen shrubs, sub-shrubs, perennial plants and annuals, very free flowering. Numerous named varieties and hybrids are grown and four species are native plants.

Species cultivated

  • H. alpestre, 1 foot, a tufted alpine, yellow flowers, summer, European• alps.
  • H. apenninum, 1 foot, spreading plant, grey leaves, white flowers, June, short-lived sub-shrub, Europe, southwest England and Asia Minor.
  • H. lunulatum, 6-9 inches, sub‑shrub, yellow, summer, Italy.
  • H. nummulariurn (syn. H. vulgare, H. chamaecistus), common sun rose, 6-12 inches trailing, yellow, June, July, Europe (including England). There are many cultivars including ‘Beech Park Scarlet’, ‘Ben Attow’, primrose yellow, deeper centre ; ‘Ben Hope’, ,carmine shading to orange; ‘Ben Ledi’, dark red; ‘Butterball’, clear yellow, double; ‘Jubilee’, double yellow; `Lemon Queen’, lemon yellow; ‘Mrs C. W. Earle’, scarlet, double; ‘Rose of Lees-wood’, rich pink, large double; ‘The Bride’, white; ‘Watergate Rose’, deep carmine, foliage grey-green; Wisley Pink’, clear pink.
  • H. tuberaria, 9 inches, herbaceous perennial forming tufts of brownish leaves with yellow flowers, July, south Europe.


As the name implies, a sunny spot is essential for the sun roses. Ordinary soil is suitable and they are excellent plants for dry walls, rock gardens and sunny banks. Most are not very long-lived and need replacing in preference to cutting hard back to encourage new growth. Propagate from cuttings of young shoots in July or August, inserted in sandy compost. Once these are rooted they should be potted singly into small pots and over-wintered thus. Because they do not transplant well, it is common practice to put them into their permanent positions from these pots, planting out in April.

Helianthemum (hel-ee-an-them-um)

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