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DANAE racemosa

Image of Danae racemosa

TL

Family

Asparagaceae

Botanical Name

DANAE racemosa

Plant Common Name

Alexandrian Laurel, Poet's Laurel

General Description

Admired for its compact habit and glossy foliage, poet's laurel is a tough evergreen shrub from western Asia that offers foliar beauty year round. It is a shade lover that's notoriously slow growing and somewhat frost tender. Specimens are reliably hardy to USDA hardiness zone 8 but can withstand cold temperatures in zone 7 with protection. Small yellow flowers are offered in summer and ornamental red fruits are produced in fall and look great into winter.

The elegant "leaves" of this evergreen are actually not leaves at all but phylloclades, or leaf-like stems. The true leaves are actually tiny and appear at the bases of the thin, glossy, lance-shaped phylloclades. Small, insignificant, trumpet-like flowers of yellow are produced in spring and highly ornamental, pendulous, red berries are produced in fall. The fruits remain attractive well into winter and are a holiday treat.

Full, hot sun will scorch the delicate phylloclades of poet's laurel, so be sure to provide it full to partial shade for best foliar appearance. It can grow successfully in a wide range of soil types as long as they are well-drained and kept moderately moist. Protect from winter sun and drying winds. This evergreen has few pest and disease problems. In the landscape it is best enjoyed as a foundation or bedding shrub for shade. It also looks great in outdoor containers.

Poet's laurel is a challenge to propagate, which is why it is not commonly sold in the landscape trade.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    11 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 11

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer

  • Native To

    Iraq, Iran, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Very Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Light Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Crimson

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edging, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No