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Plant Profile: Rose Daphne (Daphne cneorum)

Daphne cneorum lv fl 2This evergreen shrub native to the mountains of central and southern Europe is known for the fragrance of its blooms. The small bright pink flowers are produced in clusters in April and sometimes sporadically in summer. The plant is evergreen and medium textured with narrow dark green leaves that are up to one inch long. It is dense and twiggy and forms a low, trailing mass so is especially attractive as a small-scale ground cover or in a rock garden. Sighting it near an outdoor living space or entrance allows its fragrance to be appreciated. Rose Daphne does not transplant well and has a reputation for being difficult to grow. Once established it should not be moved. Several cultivars are available including dwarf and variegated forms.

Type: Flowering evergreen shrub

Outstanding Feature: Fragrant flowers

Form: Low growing dense, twiggy mass

Growth Rate: Slow

Bloom: Bright pink, fragrant flowers borne in umbels in April to May and sporadically in summer.

Size: 6-8” H x 3” W

Light: Bright light with protection from hot sun; tolerates more su if moisture adequate but dislikes wet feet.

Soil: Average, moist, well-drained, neutral to slightly acid; care must be taken to water during periods of drought in summer.

Hardiness: Zones 5-7

Care: Mulch in summer to keep the roots cool in hot climates; prune after flowering if desired.

Pests and Diseases: cankers, crown roots, leaf spot, mealy bugs, scale, aphids

Propagation: Seed, cuttings

Outstanding Selection: ‘Ruby Glow’ (dark pink flowers on 12” shrub).

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