Daphne (plant)

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Daphne philippi1.jpg
Daphne pontica in flower
Scientific classification

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Daphne philippi1.jpg
Daphne pontica in flower
Scientific classification

See text

Daphne (/ˈdæfn/;[1] Greek: Δάφνη, meaning "laurel") is a genus of between 50 and 95 species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs in the family Thymelaeaceae, native to Asia, Europe and north Africa. They are noted for their scented flowers and poisonous berries.


The leaves are undivided, mostly arranged alternately (although opposite in D. genkwa). The flowers lack petals and have four (rarely five) petaloid sepals, tubular at the base with free lobes at the apex. The flowers are grouped, either in clusters in the leaf axils towards the end of the stems or in terminal heads. They range in colour from greenish-yellow to white, bright pink and purple; most of the evergreen species have greenish flowers, while the deciduous species tend to have pink flowers. Many species flower in late winter or very early spring. The fruits are one-seeded drupes, which in some species are fleshy and berry-like, in others dry and leathery.[2][3]

Selected Species[edit]

  • Daphne acutiloba
  • Daphne alpina L.
  • Daphne altaica
  • Daphne angustiloba
  • Daphne arbuscula Čelak.
  • Daphne arisanensis
  • Daphne aurantiaca
  • Daphne axillaris
  • Daphne bholua
  • Daphne blagayana Freyer
  • Daphne brevituba
  • Daphne calcicola W.W.Sm.
  • Daphne caucasica
  • Daphne championii
  • Daphne cneorum L.
  • Daphne collina Dickson ex J.E.Smith
  • Daphne depauperata
  • Daphne emeiensis
  • Daphne erosiloba
  • Daphne esquirolii
  • Daphne feddei
  • Daphne gemmata
  • Daphne genkwa
  • Daphne giraldii Nitsche
  • Daphne glomerata Lam.
  • Daphne gnidioides
  • Daphne gnidium
  • Daphne gracilis
  • Daphne grueningiana
  • Daphne holosericea
  • Daphne jasminea Sibth. & Sm.
  • Daphne jezoensis Maxim. ex Regel.
  • Daphne jinyuensis
  • Daphne juliae Kos.-Pol.
  • Daphne kamtschatica Maxim.
  • Daphne kiusiana
  • Daphne kosaninii
  • Daphne laciniata
  • Daphne laureola L.
  • Daphne leishanensis
  • Daphne limprichtii
  • Daphne longilobata
  • Daphne longituba
  • Daphne macrantha Ludlow
  • Daphne malyana Blečić
  • Daphne mezereum L.
  • Daphne modesta
  • Daphne mucronata
  • Daphne myrtilloides
  • Daphne odora
  • Daphne oleoides Schreb.
  • Daphne papyracea
  • Daphne pedunculata
  • Daphne penicillata
  • Daphne petraea Leyb.
  • Daphne pontica L.
  • Daphne pseudomezereum
  • Daphne purpurascens
  • Daphne retusa Hemsl.
  • Daphne rhynchocarpa
  • Daphne rodriguezii Texidor
  • Daphne rosmarinifolia
  • Daphne sericea Vahl
  • Daphne sophia
  • Daphne striata Tratt.
  • Daphne sureil
  • Daphne tangutica Pritz. – may be treated as a synonym of D. retusa[2]
  • Daphne tenuiflora
  • Daphne tripartita
  • Daphne xichouensis
  • Daphne yunnanensis


Numerous natural and artificial hybrids are cultivated as ornamental plants. These include:


One species, Daphne papyracea, the Lokta plant, is sustainably harvested in Nepal for paper production.[7] And in Bhutan, as well.

Many species are cultivated as ornamental shrubs in gardens.[8] The smaller species are used as rock garden plants or, in the case of those more difficult to grow, as plants for the alpine house.[2]



  1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  2. ^ a b c d e f Beckett, K., ed. (1993), Encyclopaedia of Alpines : Volume 1 (A–K), Pershore, UK: AGS Publications, ISBN 978-0-900048-61-6 , pp. 371–376
  3. ^ Wang, Yinzheng; Gilbert, Michael G.; Mathew, Brian F. & Brickell, Christopher (1994 onwards), "Daphne", in Wu, Zhengyi; Raven, Peter H. & Hong, Deyuan, Flora of China, Beijing; St. Louis: Science Press; Missouri Botanical Garden, retrieved 2012-01-31  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Daphne × burkwoodii". Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Daphne × napolitana". Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Mail Order Daphne from Junker's Nursery (38a), Junker's Nursery, archived from the original on 2012-01-29, retrieved 2012-01-29 
  7. ^ http://www.ansab.org/UserFiles/lokta.pdf
  8. ^ Phillips, Roger & Rix, Martyn (1989), Shrubs, London: Pan Books, ISBN 978-0-330-30258-6 , pp. 36–39

External links[edit]