Daphne mezereum

Scientific name: Daphne mezereum


Common names: “February daphne” “dwarf bay” “lady’s laurel” “mezereum” “mysterious plant” “spurge flax” “spurge olive”

Plant Type: Deciduous shrub


Zone: 5-8

Light: Full sun – semi-shade

Exposure: Sheltered

Soil: Any moderately fertile humus rich soil

Moisture: Evenly moist well drained


Plant Size: H 4′ W 3′

Leaf and Stem shape: Oblanceolate, dull grey-green leaves on short stalks, to 9cm long

Flower: Fragrant reddish-purple flowers in stalkless clusters of 2 and 4, followed by red berries, blooms Feb – April before leaves

Pruning: Keep pruning to a minimum

Maintenance: Mulch, and don’t transplant!

Landscape use: Flower beds, cottage gardens and informal gardens

Propagate: By cuttings, layering, grafting and seed

Pests & Disease: Prone to fungal diseases, crown rot, root rot, leaf spot, if in a poorly drained area

*Deer resistant

Comments: Gawky stiff plant when young, forms paler or white flowers, all parts of the plant are poisonous

Cultivars: D. m. ‘Alba’ – has white flowers


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