Helianthemum 'Henfield Brilliant'

Common Name: rock rose 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Cistaceae
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Red-orange
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Tolerate: Drought


Best grown in dry, alkaline, rocky or sandy, well-drained loams in full sun. Foliage is evergreen, but plants are not reliably winter hardy throughout USDA Zone 5 where they appreciate a winter mulch (preferably a cover of evergreen boughs). Plants prefer cool summers and warm winters, which makes them less than ideally suited for the St. Louis climate. Shear plants after flowering to shape and to encourage additional growth. If grown as a ground cover, space 2-3’ apart.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Helianthemum is a genus of about 110 species of evergreen or semi-evergreen shrubs from North and South America, Asia, Europe and North Africa, particularly around the Mediterranean.

Genus name comes from the Greek words helios meaning the sun and anthemon meaning meaning a flower.

'Henfield Brilliant' is a low-growing evergreen shrub with small, silvery-gray, lance-shaped, downy foliage. It has single, bright red-orange flowers with 5 paper-thin petals and bright yellow stamens. The flowers bloom for only one day but there are abundant new buds. Growing 6 to 8 inches tall and 1 1/2 to 2 feet wide, it forms a dense low mound that will cascade over walls or discourage weeds when used as a ground cover. Winner of the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.


No serious insect or disease problems. Rots easily in poorly-drained soils.

Garden Uses

Rock gardens, borders and ground cover. Sprawls exceedingly well over stone walls or dry, sloping ground.