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Daphne species are shrubs, with upright or prostrate stems. Upright types might grow to 1.5 m (5 ft). Their leaves are undistracted, mostly arranged at the same time (although opposite in d. Genkwa), and have brief petioles (stalks). The leaves tend to be clustered towards the end of the stems and are of different shapes, although constantly longer than large. The leaf surface might be smooth (glabrous) or hairy.

Numerous types flower in late winter or really early spring. The flowers are organized into clusters (inflorescences), either in the leaf axils towards completion of the stems or forming terminal heads. The inflorescences lack bracts. Private flowers entirely lack petals and are formed by four (hardly ever 5) petaloid sepals, tubular at the base with totally free lobes at the peak. They range in colour from white, greenish yellow or yellow to brilliant pink and purple. The majority of the evergreen species have greenish flowers, while the deciduous types tend to have pink flowers. There are two times the variety of stamens as sepals, generally eight, organized in 2 series. Endurances either have short filaments or absence filaments completely and are typically held inside the sepal tube. The design is short or absent, and the preconception is head-shaped (capitate).

The ovary has a single chamber (locule). The fruits are one-seeded, and are either fleshy berries or dry and tough (drupaceous). When ripe the fruit is normally red or yellow, often black. [2]

Daphne varieties

The sweet odor that wafts through the air in february and march can be credited to just a couple of plants, among them being daphne.

An old garden favorite, daphne odora, or winter daphne is a plant no backyard need to lack. While winter season daphne is justly well-known, she has a couple of sisters you should get to know.

Here are a few of our favorites:.

Daphne odora: winter season daphne

Pink buds in january open to light pink flowers in february and march. The scent is so thick that on warmer days it can envelop an area. Leaves are evergreen & & leathery. There are lots of ranges of daphne odora and all of them have the very same magnificently fragrant flowers. The primary distinction is the leaf color, and there may be a minor difference in size too – here are a few of our favorites:.

‘ marginata’ has a minor cream-colored edge to the leaves. The brand-new growth is heavy, so when it rains (as it does a lot in portland) the branches splay a bit and put down, which results in a plant that is extremely wide. A mature plant is 3-4′ x 4-6′.

‘ Maijima’ is a brand-new introduction with thick velvety edges on the leaves. Reportedly it’s a bit smaller – 3-4′ x 3-4′.

Daphne odora ‘zuiko nishiki’

‘ zuiko nishiki’ has strong green leaves, and stiffer branching, so it’s less most likely to droop like ‘marginata’. Grows 4′ x 4′.

All winter daphnes grow best in morning or dappled sun. It suffices light to produce great blooming but not so much that their leaves burn. In hot afternoon sun leaves appearance horrendous! Z7-9.

Daphne ‘lawrence crocker’

This little daphne just offers and offers. Fragrant, purple/mauve flower clusters bloom from spring thru fall once the plant is developed. Leaves are evergreen and narrow, about 1-2″ long. The plant is a great little shrubby thing growing just to 12″ x12″. It is the perfect addition to a rock garden or container. Sufficient drain in the soil is necessary to survival, so permit it and don’t over-water. Sun, part shade– zones 6-9.

Daphne transatlantica (d. Caucasica x d. Collina)

We might have conserved the very best for last. This is group of simple daphnes! We bring a number of ranges of d. Transatlantica – all have pale pink buds and white flowers that bloom numerous times each year, from april-october. They are semi-evergreen, so in warm winters they hold the majority of the leaves, but in harsher nw winters they’ll shed part of the foliage. Some variation takes place in the leaves and development routines – here’s a summary.

Daphne everlasting fragrance’

Leaves are deep shiny green, 2″ and convex. Flowers are a bit larger than other d. Transatlanticas. Grows 2-3′ x2-3′.

Daphne ‘jim’s pride’

This variety can be tough to come by, but deserves listing. ‘Jim’s pride’ can be a little persnickety while getting established, however those who stand firm are rewarded with flowers for six months, blue-green leaves and an easy-care plant that’s around 4′ x 4′.

Daphne ‘summertime ice’

Leaves have a velvety edge, contributing to the wintry look all year. Blooms its heart out! Grows to about 3-4′ high and wide.

Sun or part shade, values improved drainage like any daphne but loves a little bit of disregard. Hardy in zones 5-9. [3]

The best winter-flowering daphne shrubs to grow

Daphne bholua ‘jacqueline postill’

An evergreen daphne cultivar with leathery, mid-green leaves that is strong growing when established. Big clusters of mauve-pink flowers cover the shrub for weeks from midwinter into early spring. The plant’s scent is effective, sweet and scrumptious, even on cold days. This daphne was raised at hillier nurseries by propagator alan postill and called for his other half. Height 1.8 m. Agm.

Daphne mezereum f. Alba

An uncommon, deciduous daphne with upright stems and small, narrow green leaves. The starry, highly aromatic flowers cluster on stems in winter season prior to the leaves appear, and are frequently followed by yellowish berries. This daphne requires chalk soil to thrive. Height 90cm.

Daphne odora rebecca (= ‘hewreb’)

A surprisingly robust form of daphne odora with green leaves, boldly edged with velvety gold. A snazzy foliage plant, it has the perk of aromatic winter season flowers. A much better garden plant than previous cultivars with a similar variegation. Height 1m.

Daphne bholua ‘darjeeling’

A semi-evergreen shrub with tan-coloured stems and pointed mid-green leaves. Clusters of fragrant, pale-pink flowers, which fade to white, appear from early winter season. The initial daphne range was raised at rhs garden wisley from seed collected in darjeeling. Height 1.8 m.

Daphne bholua ‘limpsfield’

This variety blooms from midwinter and is greatly aromatic; the abundant purple-pink flower edges merge into white faces. A good evergreen daphne shrub to grow close to your home in a sheltered position. Height 1.8 m.

Daphne bolua ‘peter smithers’

An evergreen or semi-evergreen daphne. In midwinter, clusters of deep, purple-pink buds available to paler blooms, which then end up being darker with age. This daphne variety was chosen at royal botanic gardens, kew’s wakehurst site from seed collected by sir peter smithers in nepal. Height 1.8 m.

Daphne causcasia

A small, deciduous and unusual daphne shrub which blooms from late spring well into summer and sometimes into fall. The clusters of white daphne flowers are aromatic and often followed by yellow fruits. This daphne variety is finest grown in dappled shade on damp, acid soil. Height 1.2 m.

Daphne pontica

A small, spreading out, evergreen shrub that is happiest under the light shade of trees and tolerant of heavy clay soils. Glossy green leaves show off the large clusters of aromatic, yellow-green flowers that are produced easily all over this daphne in late spring. Height 60cm.

Daphne x burkwoodii ‘astrid’

A rounded, bushy daphne shrub with narrow, blue-green leaves that are carefully edged with creamy yellow. Clusters of aromatic, pink flowers appear from late spring through to midsummer. An excellent shrub for foliage interest. 60cm.

Daphne cneorum

A dwarf daphne shrub with prostrate branches and narrow evergreen leaves. The large clusters of sweetly aromatic, pink flowers appear in mid to late spring. Typically tricky to establish, this daphne range requires a sheltered, open scenario on chalk soil. Height 15cm.

Daphne x burkwoodii ‘lavenirii’

A cross in between daphne cneorum and daphne caucasica that was raised in france in 1920. This unusual daphne has clusters of very aromatic, pale-pink flowers, darker in the centres, from late spring well into summertime. A spreading out daphne shrub, it grows best on alkaline soil. Height 60cm.

Daphne rolsdorfii

A daphne variety that’s bushy and upright in habit with shiny, evergreen leaves. This small shrub has particularly snazzy clusters of extremely aromatic, purple-pink daphne flowers in mid-spring. Grows on alkaline or acid soil. Height 45cm. Agm. [4]

How to plant and grow daphne?

Growing daphne in the garden

Daphne needs a wet, free-draining, abundant soil that is acidic (ph 5 to 5.5 is ideal). It will not endure lime or alkaline soil at all. In areas with ph neutral or slightly alkaline soils, daphne needs to be grown in a pot.

Prior to planting daphne, dig the soil over well and add in a lot of compost and weathered manure. Include a controlled-release fertiliser for acid-loving plants in your preparation.

When transplanting from a pot, avoid separating the ball of potting mix– daphne dislikes having its roots interrupted.

Choose a semi-shaded area where your plant will be safeguarded from frosts, strong winds and hot afternoon sun in summer season. Avoid dense shade, which will hinder blooming.

Spread a sugarcane or lucerne mulch over the roots in summer to keep the soil cool.

Daphne thrives in cool temperate to temperate environments. While it will endure light frost, it does not thrive in sub-tropical or tropical areas with high humidity.

While daphne likes soil that holds some wetness, it does not like wet feet, and will establish root rot in soil that remains damp for long periods. Let the soil dry out after watering or, in high rains areas, plant into a raised bed that drains easily.

Growing daphne in pots

Daphne doesn’t like being interrupted, so choose a pot that is large enough to enable numerous years of development before the plant will need to be re-potted. Make certain there are plenty of drain holes, and place a piece of flywire mesh in the base to keep the potting mix from washing out.

Utilize a premium-quality potting mix that is specially developed for acid-loving plants (often identified as appropriating for azaleas, camellias and gardenias).

Over summertime, move the pot to a shaded spot to prevent leaf burn. Remember to water when the top 5cm or so of potting mix is dry to the touch.

Feeding daphne

A controlled-release fertiliser for acid-loving plants should be used twice a year, in early spring and early autumn. This can be supplemented with a water-soluble plant food, once again for acid enthusiasts, from mid-spring to late summer to keep plants healthy.

Periodically daphne might establish yellow leaves. Possible causes consist of a shortage of a trace element, magnesium (mg). This can be repaired with epsom salts. Dissolve a level tablespoon in 4l of water in a watering can and sprinkle over the root system.

An annual application of iron chelates (according to label instructions) after flowering may likewise be beneficial to the general health of the plant.

Illness and insects that affect daphne

Strong, healthy daphne plants are hardly ever troubled by pests, but periodically there might be an invasion of scale– little circular brown or black dots on the upper and undersides of leaves and stems. Each small dome protects an insect. If there are just a couple of present, peel them off and squash them. When great deals show up, apply a horticultural oil as directed.

How to prune daphne

Prune your daphne after flowering.

  • Cut below buds or nodes.
  • Cut at a small angle. This will help avoid rot.

How to propagate daphne

  1. Take 6-inch long cuttings and strip the leaves off the lower half.
  2. Dip the cutting in rooting hormone.
  3. Plant the cutting in a pot filled with a damp mix of 6 parts compost and one part perlite. The lower half of the cutting need to be under the mix. Firm to keep the cutting in place.
  4. Place the pot in partial shade, and keep moist and secured from wind.
  5. Roots must form in about 6 weeks. Transplant into the garden two weeks after roots have actually formed. [5]

How to grow a winter daphne

Winter daphne shrub can be grown from seeds gotten rid of from fruits. These seeds can be planted without cleaning and needs to sprout in the spring months. Seeds that do not sprout in their very first spring can be left for the following spring to germinate.

These plants can likewise be grown from small greenwood or semi-ripe cuttings of 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) long. These cuttings will take advantage of using a root hormone powder and will root after a period of 6 to 10 weeks if planted in a well-drained medium.

Winter daphne plants are sensitive and ought to not be transplanted as soon as developed as lots of plants will not survive this upheaval. These plants must be watered well, however be enabled to dry out rather in between watering.

These plants require fast-draining soil that is rich in natural product. The roots of these plants mustn’t be kept in a saturated substrate. They ought to be planted in a website with complete sun to partial or dappled shade, that is sheltered from strong, relentless winds. A planting website that receives some afternoon shade is advised for gardens in really hot locations.

Usda hardiness zones 7 to 9 offer the best climate and temperature levels for growing winter daphne and these plants will grow at a moderate rate there. [6]

A review of its traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology

The genus daphne comes from the thymeleaceae family and includes over 90 species that are dispersed in asia, europe and parts of north africa. The types of the genus daphne are utilized in the standard medication of china, tibet, korea, and the middle east for the treatment of numerous conditions. A broad variety of studies has actually shown the significant biological potential of these species as sources of biologically and pharmacologically active compounds. Daphne types give numerous classes of valuable phytochemicals such as coumarins, flavonoids, lignans, steroids and various classes of terpenes. The phytochemical variety of this genus is demonstrated by over 350 secondary metabolites separated from various species. The genus possesses a broad spectrum of biological activities including anti-bacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic, antiviral, abortive and haemostatic impacts. A range of bioactive secondary metabolites found in this genus may have possible use in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food markets. Hence, types belonging to the genus daphne can be considered an important source both for the treatment of different conditions, due to the existence of a plethora of bioactive constituents with potent bioactivities, and as possible leads in the discovery and synthesis of new medications. [7]

Historic plants – tradition from the acadians

Despite the wave of cold, rainy weather, it’s flowering now in the countryside, a sparse, pink-blossomed shrub with a historic connection. The daphne was brought here by the acadians, and never ever having spread far, it continues today in spread pockets near what were as soon as acadian settlements. Given its origin, it’s no coincidence that the daphne usually can be found growing wild near grand pre, in white rock and pereau.

You might call the daphne a historical plant in the sense that it’s gotten in touch with the old acadians. There are numerous plants growing wild and cultivated here with the very same connection. The daphne is only one of lots of now typical plants presented by the acadians. Some, like the daphne, were cultivated for decorative functions, however many were grown for useful usages, as dyes, in medicine and as food supplements.

One of the most interesting plants is the wild white strawberry. Until i talked just recently with reg newell and his other half, botanist ruth newell of the e. C. Smith herbarium in wolfville, i wasn’t aware this plant existed. Ms. Newell informed me the white strawberry – so called due to the fact that its berry is white – is thought to have been introduced by the acadians and may have been utilized medicinally.

The white strawberry is incredibly unusual and only can be found in a few locations. Ms. Newell stated she’s seen the plant in white rock along the gaspereau river and in a rough brookside area near oak avenue in wolfville.

It’s said that a few of the plants presented by the acadians are clues to the existence of their old settlements. In other words, they’re often discovered in abundance near an acadian homesite.

While it’s obviously common in kings county today, the existence of the introduced red fly honeysuckle may provide hints to acadian activity in a minimum of one part of the county. The editors of the natural history of kings county two times mention the possibility of an acadian tidal mill when existing on elderkin creek in between kentville and new minas. The website is ideal for such a mill, the editors state, however the “only proof of its existence is the existence of plants common of those grown by the acadians.” among those plants is the honeysuckle.

Numerous plants had medicinal uses, some were used in the kitchen; but not all that boiled down to us today are a welcome acadian legacy. One such plant is the buckthorn. The acadians introduced buckthorn, which might have been used as a hedge but according to ruth newell was utilized medicinally. Newell says the buckthorn, which is common in the wolfville area, “has a habit of taking control of.” today, she says, “it is recognised as a severe invasive species.”.

While plants (and trees) introduced by the acadians are said to offer clues to the existence of homesites, lots of have actually spread out well beyond recognized settlement areas and prevail. Still, they have a historical connection because they were as soon as part and parcel of the acadian way of life. Besides the daphne and.

Honeysuckle, other plants mentioned in a nature of kings county as introduced by the acadians include wormwood, chicory, slender vetch, caraway, hops and tansy. [8]

Uses of daphne odora

Toxic parts

All parts of the plant are poisonous. Skin contact with the sap can trigger dermatitis in some individuals.

Edible utilizes

There are no edible usages listed for daphne odora.

Product utilizes

The flowers are really aromatic, they are put in sachets and used for pot-pourri. They are also utilized to fragrance water. The cultivar ‘aureo-marginata’ can be used as a ground cover when planted about 1 metre apart each method. [9]

Conventional usages and benefits of mezereon

  • Mezereum has actually been used in the past for dealing with rheumatism and indolent ulcers, however because of its harmful nature it is no longer considered to be safe.
  • The plant includes various hazardous compounds, including daphnetoxin and mezerein, and these are currently being examined for their anti-leukemia impacts.
  • Bark is cathartic, diuretic, emetic, rubefacient, stimulant and vesicant.
  • Root bark is the most active medically, but the stem bark is likewise used.
  • It has actually been utilized in a lotion to induce discharge in indolent ulcers and likewise has a helpful effect upon rheumatic joints.
  • Fruits have actually periodically been utilized as a purgative.
  • Holistic remedy is made from the plant.
  • It is utilized in the treatment of various skin complaints and swellings.
  • A lotion was previously used to induce discharge in indolent ulcers.
  • Bark is used for snake and other venomous bites, and in siberia, by veterinary cosmetic surgeons, for horses’ hoofs.
  • In germany a cast of the berries is locally utilized in neuralgia.
  • Slices of the root might be chewed in toothache.

Safety measures

  • All parts of the plant are extremely poisonous.
  • Skin contact with the sap can trigger dermatitis in some people.
  • Berries have proved deadly to children.
  • It may cause diarrhea, vomiting and stomach ache.
  • High dosages can be dangerous.
  • It ought to be utilized under medical guidance.
  • Managing the fresh branches can cause rashes and eczema in delicate people.
  • Intake of plant parts leads within a few hours to serious inflammation and a burning experience in the mouth, with swelling of the lips and face, increased salivation, hoarseness and trouble in swallowing.
  • These symptoms are soon followed by severe abdominal discomfort, headache, numbness, queasiness and bloody diarrhea.
  • Children (who may be poisoned by the appealing red fruits) frequently reveal extra narcotic signs with muscular twitching.
  • Bark is not generally taken internally and even when used externally this should be finished with severe caution and not applied if the skin is broken. [10]

Are daphne shrubs safe for people?

All parts of the daphne shrub are poisonous to both animals and people. In fact, they are so poisonous that simply chewing on the flowers, foliage, bark, or red berries can be fatal. 2 or three fruits from a daphne shrub can include adequate acrid juice to be deadly to a child; all parts of every types are extremely toxic.

Throwing up and diarrhea, with blood or mucus, prevail symptoms, as well as skin blisters from the juice, and blisters of the soft tissues of the mouth from any plant parts chewed or swallowed. [11]


Plants have a crucial function in keeping people’s health and improving the quality of human life. They are an important part of individuals’s diet, but they are likewise used in other spheres of human life as a healing resources, components of cosmetic items, paints and others. The Daphne genus comes from family Thymeleaceae which includes 44 households with roughly 500 organic species. Th e plant types of the genus Daphne are used in the traditional medicine in China and tropical part of Africa for the treatment of different conditions. Previous research studies showed substantial biological potential of these types as a source of pharmacologically active compounds. This suggests that this genus possess a broad spectrum of biological activity including antimicrobial, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic, anti-ulcerogenic, abortive, hypocholesterolemic and hemostatic impacts. In addition, Daphne plants are the source of valuable bioactive phytochemicals such as coumarins, flavonoids, lignans, steroids and various classes of terpenes. Various parts of the Daphne plants consist of specific bioactive metabolites and can represent a source of new, natural, pharmacologically active substances, which might potentially be used in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food markets. [12]


  1. Https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/daphne
  2. Https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/daphne_( plant) #description
  3. Https://www.portlandnursery.com/shrubs/daphne
  4. Https://www.gardensillustrated.com/plants/shrubs/best-daphne-for-year-round-colour-and-scent/
  5. Https://www.bunnings.com.au/diy-advice/garden/planting-and-growing/how-to-grow-and-care-for-a-daphne-plant
  6. Https://florgeous.com/winter-daphne/
  7. Https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/s0367326x20301222
  8. Http://versicolor.ca/nswfsoldsite/species/thymelaeaceae/daphnemez/index.html
  9. Https://practicalplants.org/wiki/daphne_odora/
  10. Https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/mezereon-daphne-mezereum/
  11. Https://dengarden.com/gardening/before-you-choose-plants-based-on-their-beauty-make-sure-you-know-which-ones-are-poisonous
  12. Https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303800387_Plants_from_The_Genus_Daphne_A_Review_of_its_Traditional_Uses_Phytochemistry_Biological_and_Pharmacological_Activity
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