The separation of the varieties of Daphne papyracea from the species, Daphne feddei, Daphne longituba, and Daphne kusei, is difficult, and the status of all these taxa needs more detailed investigation[
Daphne cannabina Wall.
Daphne cavaleriei H.Lév.
Daphne eriocephala Royle
Daphne mairei H.Lév.
Common Name: Nepal Paper Plant
Daphne papyracea is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 1.50 metres tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and is the source of a superior type of paper. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental, where it can be used to form a hedge.
All parts of the plant are poisonous[
]. Skin contact with the sap can cause dermatitis in some people[
E. Asia - northern India, Nepal, northern Bangladesh, Myanmar, southern China
Forests, shrubby and herbaceous slopes; at elevations from 700 - 3,100 metres[
]. Shaded places in forested areas at elevations from 1,500 - 3,200 metres in Nepal[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Pollinators||Bees, Flies, Lepidoptera
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Daphne papyracea is not hardy in the colder areas of the temperatezone, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[
Prefers a cool lime-free well-drained sandy loam and a sunny position[
]. Succeeds in neutral soils[
] and tolerates partial shade[
]. Likes plenty of moisture in the growing season[
]. A good sandy loam and a sunny position suits most members of this genus[
Closely related to Daphne bholua[
The flowers are fragrant[
Plants are resentful of root disturbance and should be planted into their permanent positions as soon as possible[
The plant is bitter, febrifuge and purgative[
]. The reports do not say which part of the plant is used.
The whole plant is used in the treatment of intestinal complaints[
The plant is traditionally grown in living fences in the northwestern Himalayas, where it helps to exclude livestock and other animals; mark out land boundaries; whilst also providing a range of medicinal and other uses[
The inner bark is used in the manufacture of, or as a paper[
]. It is one of the principle sources of Nepalese hand-made paper[
The inner bark, when prepared like hemp, can be used to make a very superior and durable paper, particularly adapted to cartridge manufacture[
]. After scraping the outer surface of the bark, what remains is boiled in water with a small quantity of oak ashes. After the boiling it is washed and beaten to a pulp on a stone. It is then spread on molds or frames made of bamboo mats[
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.