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Genus Daphne Shrubs Plant Family Thymelaeaceae


Daphne Mezereum — The Mezereon. One of the commonest and most popular of hardy garden shrubs. It is of stout, strict growth, and produces clusters of pinky, rose, or purplish flowers before winter is past, and while the branches are yet leafless. Few perfectly hardy flowering shrubs are so popular as the Mezereon, and rightly so, for a more beautiful plant could not be mentioned, wreathed as every branch is, and almost back to the main stem, with the showiest of flowers. It likes good, rich, dampish soil, and delights to grow in a quiet, shady nook, or even beneath the spread of our larger forest trees. There are several very distinct varieties, of which the white-flowered Daphne Mezereum flore albo is one of the most valuable. The fruit of this variety is bright golden-yellow. Daphne Mezereum autumnale and Daphne Mezereum atro-rubrum are likewise interesting and beautiful forms.

Daphne Petraea — Rock Daphne. This is quite hardy in the more sheltered corners of the rock garden, with neat, shining foliage and pretty rosy flowers, produced so thickly all over the plant as almost to hide the foliage from view. At Kew it thrives well in peaty loam and limestone, and although it does not increase very quickly is yet happy and contented. It is a charming rock shrub.

Daphne Pontica — Pontic Daphne. This is much like Daphne lauriola, but has shorter and more oval leaves, and the flowers, instead of being borne in fives like that species, are produced in pairs. They are also of a richer yellow, and more sweetly scented.

Daphne Laureola — Spurge Laurel. This is not, in so far at least as flowers are concerned, a showy species, but the ample foliage and sturdy habit of the plant will always render this native species of value for the shrubbery. It is of value, too, as growing and flowering freely in the shade. The flowers are sweetly-scented and of a greenish-yellow colour, and appear about February.

Daphne Altaica — Though rare in gardens, this is a pretty and neat-foliaged species, and bears white flowers in abundance. It wants a warm corner and dry soil.

Daphne Blagayana — This is still rare in cultivation, but it is a very desirable species, bearing ivory-white highly-fragrant flowers. For the alpine garden it is particularly suitable, and though growing rather slowly thrives well in good light soil.

Daphne Championi - From China, is a rare and pretty species, bearing lilac flowers in winter, and whilst the shrub is leafless. It does best in a warm situation, such as planted against a wall facing south.

Daphne Cneorum — Garland Flower. This is a charming rock shrub, of dwarf, trailing habit, with small glossy-green leaves, and dense clusters of deep pink, deliciously-fragrant flowers.

Daphne Fioniana is of neat growth, with small, glossy, dark leaves, and pale rose-coloured flowers. Its sturdy, dwarf habit, constant verdure, and pretty sweet-scented flowers, should make this species a favourite with cultivators. Known also as Daphne hyemalis.

Daphne Genkwa — Japanese Lilac. This is a rare and beautiful species, of recent introduction, with large lilac-tinted, sweetly-scently flowers.

Daphne Alpina - A deciduous species, which has white or rosy-white, sweet-scented flowers. It is a pretty, but rare shrub, that grows well in light sandy leaf soil.

Daphne Sericea — This forms a bush fully two feet high, with evergreen, oblong, shining leaves, and clusters of rose-coloured flowers that are pleasantly scented. It is quite hardy, and an interesting species that is well worthy of more extended culture. There is a variety of this with broader foliage than the species, and named Daphne sericea latifolia.