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Daphne mezereum

mezereon

D. mezereum is a deciduous, rounded shrub to 1.5m. Flowers usually appear before the leaves, purplish-pink or purplish-red, clustered closely in twos and threes from buds on the twigs in early spring, very fragrant, followed by round red berries. Leaves oblanceolate, dull grey-green, short-stalked, to 9cm long

Other common names
dwarf bay
February daphne
see morelady's laurel
mezereum
mysterious plant
spurge flax
spurge olive

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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Pink Purple Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green Red
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Thymelaeaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
All parts highly toxic if ingested, sap may irritate skin. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

Daphne can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs with small, usually very fragrant tubular, 4-lobed flowers, often followed by colourful berries

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe to C Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile, humus-rich, well-drained but not dry soil in sun or part shade. Mulch to keep roots cool. Establishes best if planted in the spring, resents transplanting so do not move once established

Propagation

Propagate by seed in containers in a cold frame as soon as ripe. Propagate by softwood cuttings in early to midsummer and semi-ripe heel cuttings in mid or late summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

Pruning group 1 or pruning group 8 but keep pruning to a minimum

Pests

Aphids may be troublesome

Diseases

May be affected by leaf spot, grey moulds and a virus

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