Mostly evergreen shrub of erect habit with highly fragrant pink and white flowers in late winter, followed by black berries. Daphnes have a reputation for being difficult but this is mainly because they don’t like being transplanted. Evergreen except in cold winters, though not reliably hardy in harsh conditions.
H x S: 2.5m (up to 4m) x 1.5m
Aspect and soil: Grow in any moderately fertile, well-drained, humus-rich soil that doesn’t dry out, in a sheltered position.
Use: both ornamental and structural, it does well on the edge of woodland, where it is protected from hot sun. Another essential plant for the winter garden, which looks lovely underplanted with Hellebores, Cyclamen coum or – as in above photo – Carex or other winter-interest perennials.
Cultivation: Daphnes are susceptible to die-back so keep pruning to a minimum.
Wildlife: great for winter pollinators.
Hazard: Toxic if eaten; irritant to skin (wear gloves if handling)
Origin: species from the Himalayas; D. ‘Jacqueline Postill’: garden.