1. The allelopathic effect of the exudate secreted by Cistus ladanifer leaves was tested on different plant species. Cynodon dactylon and Rumex crispus, species absent from C. ladanifer scrub (jarales), were clearly inhibited by the exudate.
2. Species present in the jarales, Medicago polymorpha and Lolium rigidum, showed no direct inhibition of germination, but the process this was delayed, and cotyledon and root size was diminished. This implies inhibition of seedling growth, and may explain the low abundance of these species inside the jarales.
3. The active constituents in the inhibition of germination are low molecular weight phenolic compounds. The flavonoids appear to exert no direct effect on germination of the species tested, but do provoke a reduction in cotyledon and root size, and could thereby inhibit subsequent seedling development.