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Common Name: Flax-Leaved Daphne
Daphne gnidium is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 1.50 metres tall.
It has medicinal uses.
All parts of the plant are poisonous[
The plant contains tannin, a vesicant resin, daphnetoxin and mezerin. In excess it can cause headaches, shivering, paleness, pupil dilation, diarrhoea, convulsions, pulmonary disorders, difficulty of deglutition and death[
Skin contact with the sap can cause dermatitis in some people[
S. Europe, N. Africa and W. Asia.
Grows with other evergreen shrubs on shallow, stony soils, often on hillsides.
|Pollinators||Bees, Flies, Lepidoptera
Prefers a well-drained but moisture-retentive slightly acid to slightly alkaline soil[
]. A good sandy loam suits most members of the genus[
This species is not very hardy in Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c, it should succeed outdoors in the milder areas of the country[
Plants are resentful of root disturbance and should be planted into their permanent positions as soon as possible[
The flowers, which are produced in terminal clusters, are sweetly scented[
The plant contains toxic compounds that are being investigated for anti-leukaemia effects[
The leaves are used in the treatment of tinea[
Some caution should be employed in the use of this plant - see notes above on toxicity[
The leaves are used in hair care[
]. No more information is given
Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe with the pot sealed in a polythene bag to hold in the moisture. Remove this bag as soon as germination takes place[
]. The seed usually germinates better if it is harvested 'green' (when it has fully developed but before it dries on the plant) and sown immediately. Germination should normally take place by spring, though it sometimes takes a further year. Stored seed is more problematic. It should be warm stratified for 8 - 12 weeks at 20°c followed by 12 - 14 weeks at 3°c. Germination may still take another 12 months or more at 15°c[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Grow the plants on in the greenhouse for their first winter and then plant out in spring after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame.
Root cuttings, December in a greenhouse.