Fragrant Daphne

Daphnes are a great addition to any garden for spring colour and scent. Here are three of former Wisley Curator Colin Crosbie's favourites

Daphnes are a wonderful group of fragrant, flowering shrubs that are native to North America, Europe and Asia. Some of the species and cultivars require slightly more specialised requirements, however many are very easy to grow, including the three below, which are all favourites of mine.

Daphne Eternal FragranceDaphne × transatlantica
Eternal Fragrance ('Blafra')

I can only describe this wonderful Daphne as a must-have plant for every garden. It is rarely out of bloom from spring through to autumn.

Its main flowering period is spring but you will find that you have sweetly-scented flowers on and off throughout the summer, then red berries.

Daphne tangutica AGMDaphne tangutica

This elegant Daphne, which originates in China, is easy to grow. It is an evergreen species which prefers a shady position and humus-rich soil. After flowering this plant also produces red berries which add an attractive dimension. If you need to prune, do so lightly as it may not respond well to hard pruning. Height 100cm (39in) and spread 70cm (28in).

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ AGM

Daphne odoraThis excellent evergreen Daphne has the additional attraction of having beautiful variegated foliage as well as scented flowers.

The shiny, dark green leaves are edged with distinctive creamy yellow margins. In spring its highly-scented flowers open a deep shade of pink before fading to white. This plant prefers to be grown out of direct sunshine, height and spread 90cm (35in).

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