DAPHNE continued

DAPHNE x napolitana 'Enigma'
The original hybrid between D. collina and D. cneorum. A superb small rounded bush, making approx. 1m by 1m. Masses of bright pink flowers in summer and sporadically through the year. Indeed, last year they started in March and continued through to November. Following the nomenclature in Robin White's recent monograph, this, the original clone has been given the cultivar name 'Enigma'.

DAPHNE x napolitana 'Bramdean'
(D. collina x D. cneorum var. pygmaea) Another pretty small evergreen with intensely fragrant pink flowers in April-May. Potentially 9" x 2'. A lovely tidy plant, but still with enough vigour to actually grow well. An excellent combination.

DAPHNE x napolitana 'Meon' 
(D. cneorum x D. collina) Once more hybrid vigour gets this plant off to an excellent start. The flowers are one of the largest of all our Daphnes, being pink in colour and fra grant of course. Expect 12-15" high by 2-3' across.

DAPHNE x napolitana 'Stasek' 
A very limited number of this variegated clone will be available this year. It has considerably larger leaves than the usual forms (both variegated and green) and seems to be bushier and less spreading. Previously listed as a cultivar of D. cneorum, it has good vigour and does well. Recently, Robin White announced that in his opinion it is more likely a hybrid, between (he suggests) D. cneorum and D. collina, making it a selection of D. x napolitana.  

Daphne odora
and its cultivars

The name tells it all! Only it is not an odour so much as the most beguiling and exquisite perfume which will waft across the garden on a warm spring day…

Daphne odora and its cultivars have to be one of the most sweetly scented of all flowering shrubs. I am often asked whether all forms have as wonderful a perfume, and the answer is an emphatic “Yes!”

The flowers are a rich deep purple in bud and open to almost white, creating a wonderful contrast. The green leaved species is rarely grown as it is not as hardy as the more popular variegated forms. The archetypal D. odora 'Aureamarginata' has a narrow gold margin around the glossy green leaves. All these plants (indeed most of the shrubby evergreen daphnes) are essentially woodland plants. They like a partially or even completely shaded site and a constant moisture level. Try them on the edge of woodland or amongst deciduous shrubs. It will flower there before the other plants come into leaf. As with all daphnes, they hate to be too wet in winter but they also detest getting too hot and drying out in summer. This is the secret to their success. A good thick mulch over their roots is spring will help keep the soil moist and cool (but don’t bank the soil up against the stem as it can cause collar rot.

In a suitably shady site, these are not difficult plants to grow and will reward you with their fragrance.

DAPHNE odora 
Bushy to 1.5m with glossy leaves. Wonderful scented white flowers open from pink buds in winter and early spring. Hardy in most parts of the country, but surprisingly the variegated form below is actually considerably hardier.

DAPHNE odora 'Aureamarginata' 
Dark pink buds open to pale pink flowers in March which are wonderfully fragrant. The glossy dark green leaves are narrowly margined yellow. This must be one of the most sought after of all flowering shrubs.

DAPHNE odora 'Double Cream'
We selected this highly variegated sport here. The margins are a broad creamy white with a slightly grey green centre. Given a shady site on good soil it grows well and flowers as magnificently as it's better known cousin (which is rarely well variegated.)

DAPHNE odora 'Rubra Variegata'
The variegation is bolder than Aureamarginata, and the flower buds are a much deeper pink, opening paler. This gives an attractive bicolour effect across the plant.

DAPHNE odora 'Sakiwaka' 
We have long been searching for the white form. Numerous purchases of D.odora 'Alba' or 'Leucanthe' (which are supposedly synonymous) have resulted in disappointment at the pink flower. This Japanese form however, does have pure white flowers contrasting well with the glossy green leaves. In fact, there is almost a tinge of yellow in the tight buds. This plant responds well to regular feeding through the growing season to maintain the lustre of the leaves.
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DAPHNE oleioides
An unusual dwarf with leathery, almost glaucous leaves. The creamy fragrant flowers occur in terminal clusters in summer. Red fruits.

Daphne x mauerbachii Perfume of Spring DAPHNE 'Perfume of Spring'
(D. caucasica x D. petraea

See Daphne x mauerbachii 'Perfume of Spring'

DAPHNE petraea 'Corna Blanca'

DAPHNE petraea 'Grandiflora'
Perhaps the archetypal alpine Daphne and one we've never been able to offer before as it is so slow growing that we've never dared to take material from our stock plant. Intense pink flowers literally smother the plant, opening deep reddish pink, fading with maturity.

DAPHNE petraea 'Lydora' 

DAPHNE petraea NES 99-63 DAPHNE petraea NES 99-63
Perhaps my favourite (at present!) of all our alpine Daphnes. See the photo on our website to see why. The tiny leaves are the richest green and really show off the gorgeous apple-blossom coloured flowers. I dare say that in the fullness of time this wild selection will be given a proper cultivar name.

DAPHNE petraea Persebee DAPHNE petraea 'Persebee'
Although the same species, this selection is quite different, being small and dumpy with even tinier leaves and seemingly disproportionably large pink flowers.

DAPHNE 'Pink Star'
(D. x burkwoodii 'Somerset' x D. cneorum 'Eximia') Intermediate between its parents, this pretty plant will create a vibrant splash of colours in any border when it flowers in April-May. Dusky pink buds open to reveal highly scented paler flowers, which darken again as they mature. Pinching strong shoots when young will help to initiate a bushy plant. Expect 30-45cm x 60-90cm wide.

DAPHNE pontica hybrid
This Daphne came to us as D. pontica and indeed we sold it as such last year. However, it has now flowered and those flowers were not quite spidery enough to be true pontica. They are more like the "typical" Daphne flower in shape and a delightful greeny yellow in colour. They are produced in April-May and were also quite definitely scented. Blue black fruits. Sometimes referred to as the "Evening Daphne" it is moth pollinated, so will give best scent in a west facing site - ie in evening sun. The leaves are pontica like in shape but a particularly healthy deep green in colour. It must be a hybrid from pontica, but we are not yet certain what with! However, it remains an exceptionally fine plant being unusually tolerant of heavy shade and heavy clay! The spidery yellow flowers in April-May are very attractive. 

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