A single sprig of daphne can fill a room with perfume. Such powerful fragrance on a small evergreen shrub is especially precious in mid winter!
Some time around July is flowering time for the traditional favourite pink and white odora daphnes, Daphne odora ‘Leucantha’, Daphne odora ‘Leucantha Alba’and Daphne odora ‘Leucantha Rubra’. These are the most widely grown daphnes. Even when not flowering they are attractive compact shrubs, with glossy green evergreen foliage.
But they’re not the only daphnes worth planting. Altogether there are over 50 naturally occurring species and a number of garden cultivars.
Daphne bholua (Himalayan daphne) is a tall (2m) narrow slightly scruffy shrub with dull deep green leaves. Clusters of very sweetly fragrant white-pink flowers are its feature through the winter. Plant it near the back of a border where its unsightly habit is hidden but the wonderful fragrance can be enjoyed.
Released in 2016, Daphne Perfume Princess is a cross between Daphne odora and Daphne bholua, bred here in NZ by Mark Jury. It was awarded Plant of the Year at the 2016 Australian Nursery and Garden Industry Association’s National Conference. This is the earliest and longest flowering of all daphnes, with one of the sweetest fragrances, and is prized for its profusion of large blush pink (softly fading to white) sweet perfumed flowers. It offers a progression of large blooms along the stem making it perfect for cutting to bring indoors. It is an excellent garden plant with upright and slightly spreading attractive evergreen foliage. Daphne Perfume Princess flowers from winter to late spring and is perfect for containers and in the garden.
How to grow daphne
Daphne odora 'Leucanthe'
Daphne Perfume Princess - photo courtesy of Abbie Jury www.jury.co.nz
Daphne odora 'Leucanthe Alba'
Daphne odora 'Leucanthe Rubra'