Gotta Have Daphne!

Daphne provide some of the most intoxicating and uplifting fragrances of any plants in temperate gardening

Outside my front door grows one of the smartest plant placements I have made in my life as a gardener: Daphne odora. Every February through April my spectactular plant is covered in pink buds opening to pale pink to white flowers that give forth the most ravishing, sweet and tropical fragrance. So amazing is this fragrance that it can even lift my spirits on the worst of the dark and rainy days of late winter and early spring. Simply put, I can't imagine life without this Daphne.

There are also many other Daphne with incredible fragrance. Daphne mezereum, or February daphne, starts blooming before D. odora with magenta flowers that smell of sweet citrus. Though most Daphne are evergreen, February daphne is deciduous with leaves emerging just as flowering is at peak. There are also the D. x burkwoodii and D. x transatlantica hybrids like 'Carol Mackie', 'Eternal Fragrance', and 'Summer Ice'. These cultivars can bloom constantly or in waves for up to seven months from April to November with sweet baby powder fragrance.

For small spaces there is 'Lawrence Crocker' with sweetly fragrant lavender blooms on compact plants growing just one foot high by one foot wide.

If you already have a Daphne then I am likely preaching to the choir because you already know what a contribution this genus is making to your life. But do you have all of them? I, for instance, still need to get Daphne mezereum and 'Lawrence Crocker' into my garden. It's a high priority!

If you don't have a Daphne yet, I recommend starting with Daphne odora if you want a sweet tropical fragrance in February through April or with 'Eternal Fragrance' if the thought of sweet baby powder for seven months of the year makes you swoon with delight.

Here are descriptions of most of the Daphne we currently have in stock. There are a few other cultivars for you to discover when you come visit us.

Daphne ordora 'Zuiko Nishiki - Winter Daphne - 'Zuiko Nishiki' is a Japanese selection of Daphne odora with lush green foliage and a vigorous nature. It may also be hardier than the species. The buds are vibrant, deep pink and open to pale pink or white flowers. The fragrance is ravishing - a mix of intoxicating citrus, sweetness and baby powder. Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' - Winter Daphne - This variegated version of winter daphne blooms in February and March with purple buds opening to white, lusciously fragrant flowers. Plant in part sun/part shade with morning or late afternoon sun (protect it from the hottest sun of the day) in rich, well-drained soil. Winter daphne should offer just the lift you need to get you through the end of winter and into the excitement of spring. Do not move after planting as the roots are sensitive to disturbance.
Daphne odora 'Mae-Jima' - Winter Daphne - This extra variegated version of winter daphne is an improvement on ‘Aureomarginata’ in terms of foliage. It blooms in February and March with purple buds opening to white, lusciously fragrant flowers. Plant in part sun/part shade with morning or late afternoon sun (protect it from the hottest sun of the day) in rich, well-drained soil. Winter daphne should offer just the lift you need to get you through the end of winter and into the excitement of spring. Do not move after planting due to sensitive roots. Daphne mezereum - February Daphne - February daphne (D. mezereum) is an upright deciduous shrub with mid green leaves. In late winter the naked stems are festooned with intoxicatingly fragrant magenta-purple flowers later turning into red berries. This is one of the hardiest of daphnes. Plant in part sun/part shade with morning or late afternoon sun (protect it from the hottest sun of the day) in rich, well-drained soil. Do not move after planting due to sensitive roots.
Daphne x burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie' - Daphne - ‘Carol Mackie’ has variegated leaves with a thin golden yellow edge fading to creamy white. The fragrant white flowers appear in late spring (and sometimes again in the fall). Rich, well-drained soil in sun. Do not move after planting. Photo courtesy Great Plant Picks.
Daphne x transatlantica 'Summer Ice' - Daphne - This daphne has some great qualities not before seen in the genus: an incredibly long bloom period and it’s easy to grow. ‘Summer Ice’ forms a mounded shrub with beautifully fragrant (like sweet baby powder) white flowers with an apple blossom flush that bloom from early April until November. As if that weren’t enough the leaves sport a crisp white trim. Semi-evergreen in average winters. Deciduous in hard winters. Rich, well-drained soil in sun. Do not move after planting. Daphne x transatlantica 'Eternal Fragrance' - Daphne - This hybrid forms a neat, mounded, evergreen shrub two to three feet high and three feet wide. The dark green leaves make a pleasing backdrop for the pink buds and white flowers which are intensely fragrant like sweet baby powder. ‘Eternal Fragrance’ flowers generously on the previous season’s wood in April and May and from June until autumn on new growth provided good moisture and nutrients. Rich, well-drained soil in sun. Do not move after planting. Photo courtesy of Great Plant Picks.
Daphne genkwa Hackenberry Group - Lilac Daphne - This deciduous daphne is a sparsley branched shrub with a somewhat peculiar growth habit. It produces long, wiry, leafless growths in summer that the next spring will be covered in clusters of delicate, long-tubed, lilac-pink flowers at every node. Beautiful though not much fragrance. After flowering these branches will produce leaves for the first time. Plant in a sheltered location in sun with good drainage and rich soil. Do not move after planting. Daphne x medfordensis 'Lawrence Crocker' - Daphne - 'Lawrence Crocker' is a diminutive evergreen daphne hybrid (S. arbuscula x D. collina) which typically grows in a mound to 12 inches tall and as wide. It is a dense, slow-growing shrub which features narrow, thickly-textured, dark green, evergreen leaves and fragrant deep pink flowers which bloom from late spring into summer. From the garden of Lawrence Crocker, one of the founders of the Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery in Medford, Oregon. Do not move after planting.

See You Soon!


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Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.
One of the largest and most exciting selections of perennials in the Lower Mainland.
3380 No. 6 Road, Richmond (Between Bridgeport and Cambie)
604-270-4133
www.phoenixperennials.com
Please visit our web page for information on the nursery, driving directions and a map.
We are near the south end of the Knight Street Bridge and very easy to get to from all of the surrounding municipalities and beyond.

Opening Dates and Hours
February 24th to October 29th, 2017
10am-5pm


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