Daphne, the Lilac of Winter

Daphne Blossom
Daphne Blossom

Daphne is the lilac of  winter.  An unassuming shrub in foliage and form, yet unsurpassed in fragrance.  A fragrance in February is not forgotten.  A fragrance of flowers and bees, of sunshine and smiles, a fresh, floral, flowery feast.   With insects in short supply during the cold winter months, Daphne seeks them out with its potent scent.  To ensure pollination, it produces a potion that seems to have magical qualities.  Every time I walk by I lean in.  I turn slightly.  I hesitate.  I slow down.  I change my pace.  I can’t help myself as I bury my nose in those rosy posies!  On a recent walk through the Washington Park Arboretum I was stopped in my tracks by this Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill. I really like the structure of this daphne, almost tree-like.  With its shiny deep green leaves and reddish bark, I think Daphne bholua is a stand-out shrub.

Just the Facts
Daphne Bholua
Evergreen to Semi-Evergreen
Zones 7, 8  Native to Himalaya
February-March Bloom, Fragrance Magnificient!
Upright habit, 6-10 ft. high (2-3m)
Extremely well-drained soil
Lime-based Soil Mix
Resents Moving

10 thoughts on “Daphne, the Lilac of Winter

  1. Thanks for this post! We agree, and it is a plant that is attractive when not flowering, which is more than we can say for lilac! Try ‘Brigg’s Moonlight’ for a real showstopper, with or without flowers! And we love that dwarf Sarcococca (sweatbox) as well, which gets showy red berries as well as lovely foliage and fragrant flowers.

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