April Bouquet: "February" Daphne





Here's how to grow this month's "odorable" beauty, February daphne:

Latin Name

Daphne mezereum f. alba

Common Name

February Daphne


Thymelaeaceae, the...Thymelaea family, a large group of often-tender shrubs, the...thymelaeas.  No, I've never heard of them either.   (Thyme itself, however, is in the Lamiaceae family.  Go figure.)

What kind of plant is it?

Deciduous shrub


Zones 5 to 8.


Erect, with many vertical branches.

Rate of Growth


Size in ten years

Full-size: 3 - 5 feet tall and about 3 wide.


Refined, with narrow light-green leaves all Summer, and orderly vertical stems all Winter.

Grown for

Thrilling end-of-Winter flowers, intensely fragrant.  "Scentsational" when a few branches are brought indoors.

Flowering season

Latest Winter where you are, which can mean February in England or Seattle, or April in Southern New England.  In flower for a couple of weeks only, but all the more exciting for being fleeting.


Full sun and good drainage.  Not a plant to baby or coddle with any kind of Winter shelter. 

How to handle it

Site it well and then leave it alone.  Doesn't need pruning or shaping; be sparing in harvesting branches for indoor bouquets.


Flowering season is exciting, but brief.  A background shrub all Summer.  As a tribe, daphnes are famous for dying, all of the sudden, after many happy years, "for no reason."  In my experience, though, this one is reliable.  Easy to establish, too.


The flowers of the species are pink; this white-flowered variant is more versatile, harmonizing with all other Spring colors—even the neon intensity of forsythia.


On-line; the (pink-flowering) species is widely available at retail nurseries.



Native habitat


FacebookTwitterRSS Feed

Stay in touch!


Sign up for twice-monthly eNews, plus notification of new posts:


* indicates required