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DAPHNE mezereum

Image of Daphne mezereum

Jessie Keith

Family

Thymelaeaceae

Botanical Name

DAPHNE mezereum

Plant Common Name

February Daphne

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

While the name February daphne assumes a timely flowering display in midwinter, don't be alarmed if blossoms are delayed until spring in cold-climate regions. This deciduous daphne bears rosy to violet-lilac flowers much earlier compared to most other daphne shrubs commonly grown in temperate gardens. Native to Europe eastward into Siberia, the February daphne develops an upright oval silhouette with many open, rather leggy branches. It's not as dense or perfectly shaped as other daphne species.

The rather small, elongated oval leaves are a medium green, with a slight hint of blue-green. Leaf undersides are gray-green. Along the uppermost ends of naked twigs, loose clusters of four-petaled flowers occur anytime from midwinter to mid-spring. In mild winter regions, expect flowering to be earlier in winter. The rose to lavender-violet blossoms are delicately fragrant. Bright red berries may develop later in summer, adding to the ornamental interest of the shrub.

Grow the February daphne in full sun to partial shade. A neutral-pH soil that's loamy and enriched with organic matter is best. This species is more tolerant of wetter soils than other daphnes, but good drainage is still recommended. A mulched soil keeps the roots cool and shaded in summer, and irrigation in summer drought is a must. Plant it in a location sheltered from desiccating winds. Use February daphne in a mixed shrub border where the rather irregular habit may be masked among other ornamentals. Once planted, avoid root disturbance and pruning, which can lead to awkward dieback or early plant death. In regions with hot summers, this shrub may not live more than five to 10 years before dying, no matter what a gardener does to aid the plant's health.

Variety 'Alba' bears dull white flowers and yellowish-white fruits.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Width

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Winter, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Europe, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe, United Kingdom, Russia/Siberia, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink, Rose, Lavender

  • Fruit Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • 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

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No