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Daphne cneorum ‘Eximia’ (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Daphne cneorum ‘Eximia’ (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

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Zone
Zones 2-7, 14-17, 31-41
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate
Toxicity
All parts, especially fruits, are poisonous if ingested.

Daphne mezereum

February Daphne
Thymelaeaceae
Deciduous, Shrubs

DAPHNE

Although some daphnes are easier to grow than others, all require fast-draining soil and careful summer watering. They are generally more temperamental in California than in the Northwest.

Plants respond to heavy pruning but rarely need more than the occasional snip to correct their shape. Cut back to lateral branches or to just above obvious growth buds. You can cut budded branches of deciduous types for forced bloom indoors.

Daphne mezereum

From Europe, Caucasus, Siberia. Rather gawky, stiff-twigged, erect growth to 4 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide, with thin, roundish, 2–3-in.-long leaves; should be planted in groups for best appearance. Fragrant reddish purple flowers in short, stalkless clusters are carried along branches in mid- or late winter before leaf-out and continue into spring. May go dormant in summer. Clustered red fruit follows flowers. Full sun or light shade.

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