Daphne

Daphne
Garland Flower
Family Thymelaeaceae
Around 50 species, and some hybrids, grown amongst other shrubs, as a tub specimen, or for cut flowers (scented).
Evergreen or deciduous shrubs, heads of very fragrant coloured flowers; leaves are simple and entire (not divided).
A large very large fleshy or leathery fruit occasionally occurs on plants.

Daphne prefers a sheltered position with filtered or indirect sunlight, protected from extreme heat or cold.

Prefers a fertile, moist, very well drained and acidic soil. Generally don’t tolerate temperatures lower than minus 6 degrees C.

 

Due to their shallow roots they should be staked for support. Sulphate of iron, or iron chelates can be applied to help overcome, or prevent, yellowing of the leaves. Mulch regularly with well rotted composts or manures.

Daphne is a good bee attractor.

Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings.

Virus is the most significant problem causing distortion of growth, discolouration and reduced flowering.

Because virus is often transferred to the plant by aphis, these insects need to be killed as soon as they are seen. In wet conditions root rot can occur and botrytis may occasionally attack flowers.

 

Cultivars

 

D. X burkwoodii -a hybrid to 1m tall, semi deciduous, bright green foliage, sweetly scented pale pink flowers in spring.

 

D. cneorum -to 50cm tall and 1m diameter, evergreen, glossy dark green foliage, rich pink-rose sweet scented flowers in spring.

 

D. genkwa -to 80cm tall, deciduous, reddish green growth tips, green foliage, bluish lilac flowers have only a mild perfume occur in early spring.

 

D. mezereum -to 1m tall, deciduous, green leaves have grey green under surface, sweet scented purple-rose flowers in late winter.

 

D. odora (Daphne) -A shallow rooted, small, evergreen shrub, that is very popular for it's very fragrant flowers, start as pink in the bud, and open to white in the winter months. Several named varieties are grown, varying in both flower and foliage colour. D. odora ‘Aureo-marginata’ has leaves with a cream-yellow margin and flower with shades of rose, purple and wine red.