Scientific Name: Daphne mezereum
Zone: 5 to 8
After a long cold winter, you wander around the garden and out of the corner of your eye, you see a startling lavender pink color. Taking a closer look you realize that the color is the February Daphne you tucked in the corner of your garden last fall. The delicate flowers cover the bare stems.
The flowers of February Daphne have a sweet scent and are intoxicating when the plants are massed. As the flowers begin to fade, the light green leaves emerge, adding to the garden's texture. In mid-July the stems are dotted with bright, oval-shaped red berries that seem to appear overnight.
February Daphne is a small shrub only obtaining a height of 30" with equal spread and prefers to grow in sun to partial shade in fertile, well-drained soil. Consider the placement carefully as the roots of Daphnes do not like to be disturbed. Most Daphnes are best left unpruned. However, any die back should be removed as soon as it is noticed, by pruning the branch back to the point of origin. The February Daphne tolerates removal of wayward branches, but heavy pruning is not recommended.
At Red Butte Garden, you can see February Daphne along the Floral Walk. February Daphne can also be companion planted with a wide variety of bulbs for a nice spring color display. Discover the world of Daphnes and let your garden take on a whole new shape and smell in the spring!
*A note of caution: The red berries are poisonous, so it is best not to plant the February Daphne if you have children visiting your garden. Pets are rarely affected from ingesting outdoor plants.