Cistus salviifolius, White Rockrose, Sage-leaved Cistus,
Hebrew: לוטם מרווני, Arabic: لبّـاد أبيض

Scientific name:  Cistus salviifolius L.
Common name:  White Rockrose, Sage-leaved Cistus
Hebrew name:   לוטם מרווני
Arabic name:  لبّـاد أبيض
Plant Family:  Cistaceae, לוטמיים

Cistus salviifolius, White Rockrose, Sage-leaved Cistus,لبّـاد أبيض, לוטם מרווני

Life form:  Chamaephyte
Stems:  30-60 cm high; spreading, hairs long, in short, stellate clumps, or glandular
Leaves:  Opposite, entire
Flowers:  White
Fruits / pods:  Loculicidal capsule
Flowering Period:  March, April, May, June
Habitat:   Batha, Phrygana
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Montane vegetation of Mt. Hermon
Chorotype:   Mediterranean
Summer shedding:  Perennating

פרחים וצמחי בר, לוטם מרווני

Derivation of the botanical name:
Cistus, from kisthos or kistos, "the rock-rose" (Carl Linnaeus).
salviifolius, salvia, "sage" and folius, "leaves"; with leaves like those of that (sage) genus.
The Hebrew name Hebrew לוטם, lotem , Aramaic לוטמא, lotma, is identified with Greek ladanos and Latin ladanum, the rockrose - an evergreen shrub of the Cistus genus. In Israel we can find the Cistus incanus/ creticus/ villosus and the Cistus salviifolius. The Cistus ladaniferus that produces the much coveted resin, does not grow in Israel. Ladanum resin was sought after for its aromatic properties as incense, but mostly as medicine.
The two references in Book Genesis of the Hebrew word Lot (לוט), is wrongly translated "myrrh". Myrrh is not indigenous to Gilead or Israel.
"Lot" (לוט), ledum, ladanum, laudanum, a fragrant resinous gum, collected from the leaves of the Cistus, is the material referred to.
Ladanum is used in herbal medicine and as a perfume ingredient.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
H.B.Tristram, the Natural History of the Bible: "Mount Carmel especially abounds in the Cistus, which in April covers some of the barer parts of the mountain with a glow not inferior to that of the Scottish heather. We obtained three species. One of them, Cistus villosus...Another, Cistus salvifolius, is also very plentiful on Carmel... From all these Ladanum is obtained..."

Bible resources:
  1. Genesis 37:25
    "...A caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, with their camels
    bearing aromatic gum and balm and myrrh, on their way to bring them down to Egypt"

  2. Genesis 43:11
    "...Carry down to the man as a present, a little balm and a little honey,
    aromatic gum and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds."

Information and photos of wild flowers (Израиль цветы)

Flora of Israel online, Native plants, Palestine
Location: Carmel mountains