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Genus Daphne

Daphne Daphne 'Carol Mackie' Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais
DAF-nee
Shrubs in the genus Daphne are gems in the open woodland and shrub border, or for specimen planting. Their four-lobed flowers range from white and pink to lavender, many of which give off an intoxicating fragrance. Daphnes have the reputation of being finicky and perishing without warning, but in general, they are beautiful, low-maintanence shrubs.
Noteworthy characteristics: Alluring flowers with heavy fragrance; many are specimen shrubs.
Care: Moderately fertile, well-drained soil; full or part sun.
Propagation: Sow seed in a cold frame when fresh; take softwood cuttings in early summer and hardwood cuttings in late summer.
Problems: Southern blight, Verticillium wilt, crown and root rot, Botrytis twig blight, aphids, and scale.

Species, varieties and cultivars for genus Daphne

Daphne × burkwoodii 'Briggs Moonlight' Daphne × burkwoodii 'Briggs Moonlight'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This stunning specimen has luminous, creamy-ivory leaves and narrow green margins. The pale pink flowers are secondary to the glamorous foliage, which can light up a shady border and create definitive contrast.

Daphne × burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie' Daphne × burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This celebrated hybrid is notable for its green leaves with golden-yellow margins that fade to cream. Its deep-pink buds open to pale, pink-white blossoms in early spring and give off a sweet fragrance.

Daphne × transatlantica 'Summer Ice' Daphne × transatlantica 'Summer Ice'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This rounded shrub has leaves with white margins, and pale pink star-shaped flowers that bloom in the spring, fall, and sometimes in between.  The blossoms release an intoxicating fragrance. 

no image available Daphne × transatlantica 'Jim's Pride'
('Jim's Pride' daphne)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This small shrub to 3-4 feet tall and wide blooms from late spring to fall with a liberal sprinkling of small, white, highly fragrant flowers over grey-green leaves that form a fine-textured mound. This shrub is semi-evergreen. It will retain some of its leaves in winter, though in colder climates it may be completely deciduous.

no image available Daphne odora
(Winter daphne)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This evergreen species produces rose-purple buds that open to white and are intensely and exotically fragrant. The blooms (from mid-winter to early spring) are followed by red fruit and dark-green, glossy leaves.  

Daphne odora 'Marginata' Daphne odora 'Marginata'
(Winter daphne)
(3 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This winter daphne has yellow-margined leaves and rosy-pink flower buds that open to white. Fragrant flowers bloom in winter and early spring. Reaching 4 feet tall and wide, 'Marginata' is beautiful against a wall or near a patio or deck where its fragrance can be appreciated. Or grow in a shade garden where its variegated leaves really shine. Daphne odora is evergreen and has a rounded form. It is native to China and Japan.