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It is an evergreen trailing plant with loose terminal clusters of bright yellow, saucer-shaped flowers. In the flower centre is a tight cluster of orange stamens, which are sensitive to the touch, and spread outwards to reveal the tall stigma in the middle. Natural rockroses are yellow, but garden varieties range from white through yellow to deep red. This is a good nectar source for bees and there are several species of small beetle that feed on the foliage. Common rock-rose is also the food plant for the larvae of several species of moth and butterfly.
The plant is common on chalk downs, and occasional in other grasslands, always on dry, base-rich soil. Though the individual blooms are short-lived, the plant produces a mass of flowers through the summer. It needs a dry, sunny place, like a south-facing rockery or meadow.
Spotted on Jun 9, 2012
Submitted on Jun 27, 2012