Sardinian Cistus incanus vs. Mediterranean Cistus incanus

Mediterranean Cistus and Sardinian Cistus incanus - Linden Botanicals

Curious about Cistus incanus? We’ll answer common sourcing questions about Mediterranean Cistus incanus and Sardinian Cistus incanus.


Does it matter where Cistus is sourced? Should I buy Sardinian Cistus incanus or Cretan Cistus incanus?

It’s important to source wild-flowering Cistus incanus (Rock Rose) plants that grow in their native Mediterranean soil and climate. Terroir – land, sun, and rain – matters. Cretan Cistus incanus (Cistus from Crete) and Sardinian Cistus incanus are two examples of Mediterranean Cistus incanus. The quality of the plants depends on many factors, including wildcrafting and harvesting, as described below.

Plants growing in arid Mediterranean ecosystems endure multiple stressors and harsh conditions, such as drought, high sun exposure, and high temperatures. Mediterranean plants produce high levels of polyphenols to protect themselves against these stressors. Cistus incanus has the highest polyphenol content of any plant in Europe.

Cistus has also developed a symbiotic relationship with a root fungi. The fungi helps the root system absorb water and minerals from poor soils so the host plant can thrive.

I was told to get Sardinian Cistus incanus. Where is your Cistus incanus sourced?

Our Cistus is sourced from Crete, the largest of the Greek islands. Crete is the ancestral home of Cistus. Our Cistus is wild grown and responsibly collected from the mountainous regions of the island. The sun, soil, and weather of Crete produce a premium-quality Cistus. It’s naturally harvested from the buds, flowers, leaves, and stems. There are no chemicals used in its production — no pesticides, heavy metals, fertilizers, or herbicides.

Grown in its natural Mediterranean habitat and collected at the height of potency, our Cistus has the full spectrum of bioactives one can expect from high-quality Cistus.

We’re often asked if we sell Cistus sardinia and Sardinian Cistus incanus. The Family Cistaceae (Genus Cistus) has about 25 species and another 25 or so hybrid varieties. To the best of our knowledge, there is no botanically recognized species or hybrid species named Cistus sardinia or Sardinian Cistus incanus.

So Sardinian Cistus incanus is the same as Cistus incanus?

Yes. The Cistus plant that grows in Sardinia is called Cistus incanus.

How did you choose your Cistus supplier?

For each of the products we sell, our team does substantial research and then visits the source and meets with both the collectors and processors personally.

The collectors and processors of our Cistus incanus know their plants and appreciate the difference between wild-grown herbs and greenhouse-cultivated crops. We back up our faith in our source and our processors with testing. Regardless whether you choose Cretan Cistus incanus or Sardinian Cistus incanus or another Mediterranean Cistus incanus, make sure you choose your Cistus supplier wisely.

Should Cistus be cultivated or wild grown?

Some production of Cistus, particularly greenhouse-grown Cistus and field-cultivated Cistus, lacks certain flavonoids and phenolic acids. Wild grown Cistus is preferable. We sell only wild grown, nature-crafted Cistus. Regardless whether you choose Cretan Cistus incanus or Sardinian Cistus incanus or another Mediterranean Cistus incanus, make sure the Cistus is wild grown.

Does it matter when Cistus is harvested?

Time of harvest matters. Our Cistus is spring harvested, which enables us to collect the plants when they are in bud. Spring is the best time to collect the leaves and aerial parts of the plant for maximum potency. Our experience is that winter-harvested Cistus, even from the exact same fields, tests lower in bioactives than spring-harvested Cistus.

How can I find a reputable source for Cistus?

High-quality Mediterranean Cistus is in high demand and short supply. It can be difficult to identify a reputable, reliable source of Cistus tea.

When looking at the quality of Cistus on the world market, key factors come into play. Sardinian Cistus incanus and Cretan Cistus incanus are both popular option for healthy Cistus tea. However, what is marketed in Spain as Cistus incanus is actually Cistus populifolius. In Morocco, the souks often offer Cistus ladanifer. Sometimes the companies selling Cistus aren’t experts and don’t know the difference.

Our Mediterranean Cistus incanus tea from Crete is cut and prepared to ensure the highest quality, most available polyphenol content. Our tea offers better availability of phytonutrients and higher potency than the whole-leaf cuts many other suppliers sell. We also pay a premium for the raw material. Doing so allows us to secure a high-quality product and maintain our philosophy of supporting a non-violent economy. Let’s just say we’re serious about our Cistus incanus tea!

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