| “And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up
their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmaelites came from
Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry
it down to Egypt.” Genesis 37:25.
It is unlikely that it was the true myrrh that the Ishmaelites were bearing.
Myrrh is a tropical tree and not in keeping with the other goods they were
bringing. It was probably another highly prized resin called laudanum. This
material comes from the sticky fragrant leaves of the Rockrose. Getting the
aromatic resin from the plant was not an easy task. Leather thongs, or
strips, were used to whip the bush and then the sticky sap was gleaned from
these. It might even have been combed from goat’s beards. This difficulty in
obtaining the incense only added to its value. Today, modern methods allow
use of this product for flavoring baked goods, gum and candy and for
scenting perfumes and soaps.
Pink Rockrose will not survive winters below 10° or imperfect
drainage. But, where it does survive, it lives with a flourish. This photo
shows a Pink Rockrose that covers about a twenty foot by eight foot
patch of ground. The original plant has layered itself and put down new
roots to cause this expansion.
Rockroses are wonderful beneficial insect plants. The pollen filled
centers are especially loved by bees. Rockroses flower for about six
weeks in spring. As the day ends the open flower floats to the ground.
The next morning a new one will unfold to take its place.
extremely drought tolerant, Rockroses benefit from water in the summer
in a dry climate. This encourages the most flowers and expansion of the
Rockroses never need pruning but can be pruned at anytime after
flowering for shape. They should not be cut way back. Old wood may not
produce new growth.