As of Autumn 2020, the taxonomy and classification of Daphniphyllum is very confused and much in need of a comprehensive revision. The biggest problem is that the flowers, usually an important taxonomic character, are minuscule (in most cases less than 2 mm long), while the vegetative characters are all rather similar, but vary with population, habitat and situation - making them extremely uncooperative as subjects for study in the herbarium. Here we follow the treatment in Kew ‘Plants of the World’online database (http://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:15293-1)
Daphniphyllum benthamii Baill.
Goughia himalensis Benth.
Daphniphyllum himalense is an evergreen shrub or small tree usually growing around 5 - 12 metres tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of wood, it is possibly also eaten. The plant is grown as an ornamental.
E. Asia - Himalayan region from northwestern India, Nepal, Bhutan, southern China (Xizang, Yunnan) to Northern Myanmar.
Cool moist forests, shady ravines and valleys alongside streams; at elevations from 1,200 - 2,500 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Daphniphyllum himalense is not a very cold-hardy plant, being able to tolerate short periods with temperatures down to around -10°c when fully dormant[
Prefers a sheltered position in sun to semi-shade, with a well-drained, moist fertile soil. Moisture is particularly important in the growing season[
]. Succeeds in any good soil, tolerating lime but perhaps not suitable for very chalky soils[
]. A useful plant for moist shady positions[
]. Dislikes cold drying winds[
D. macropodum. Miq. is hardy at Kew and tolerates temperatures down to about -20°c[
]. It is very closely related to this species and is perhaps no more than a sub-species of it[
]. This species, however, is less hardy than D. macropodum[
The flowers are very small but have a pungent aroma[
]. They are produced in racemes on the previous year's wood[
A dioecious species, both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
The very closely related Daphnephyllum macropodum is said to have edible leaves. Are the leaves of this species also edible cooked?[
A paste of the wood is applied as a poultice to boils[
The wood is soft, close and even grained. A very handsome wood, it is used for turnery, carving etc[
]. The wood of the roots is especially handsome, it is deep red in colour[
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of moderately ripened wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel or at a junction with old wood, July in individual pots in a frame. The cuttings are slow to root, give them brisk bottom heat[
]. Fair percentage[
Layering of current seasons growth, 12cm long in mid summer to early autumn. Takes 12 - 18 months. High percentage[