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Common Name: Winter Daphne
Daphne odora is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 1.50 metres tall.
It has medicinal and miscellaneous uses.
All parts of the plant are poisonous[
]. Skin contact with the sap can cause dermatitis in some people[
E. Asia - W. China, Japan.
In the shade of upland trees around 1000 metres[
|Pollinators||Bees, Flies, Lepidoptera
Prefers a cool, lime-free well-drained friable soil[
] and some shelter from cold winds[
]. Succeeds in full sun or semi-shade[
This species is not generally hardy in Britain[
] but succeeds outdoors in Devon and Cornwall[
], tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c[
]. The cultivar 'Aureo-marginata' is hardy to about -13°c when grown in a very well-drained soil and it succeeds outdoors at Wisley[
]. Plants can be difficult to establish[
A very ornamental plant, a number of named forms have been developed for their ornamental value[
]. The flowers are powerfully fragrant with a spicy undertone[
Plants seldom set fruit in British gardens[
Plants are resentful of root disturbance and should be planted into their permanent positions as soon as possible[
This species is often affected by virus diseases. Some virus-free clones have been produced, their name is normally followed by the letters FKV (free of all known virus)[
The flowers and the stems are anodyne, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, depurative and ophthalmic[
]. A decoction is used in the treatment of backache, myalgia, skin diseases, poor vision etc[
A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of laryngitis and sore throats[
A decoction of the roots and leaves is used in the treatment of sore throat and caked breast[
The flowers are very fragrant, they are put in sachets and used for pot-pourri. They are also used to perfume water[
The cultivar 'Aureo-marginata' can be used as a ground cover when planted about 1 metre apart each way[
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, 7 - 10cm long at a node or with a heel, mid summer in a frame.