Daphne 'Lawrence Crocker'

Common Name: daphne
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Thymelaeaceae
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Deep pink
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: High
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Best grown in moist, rich, sandy-humusy, well-drained soils with a neutral pH in part shade. Consider raised plantings in areas of heavy clay soils to insure good drainage. 'Lawrence Crocker' is not reliably winter hardy throughout the St. Louis area where it should be planted in locations protected from winter winds and full sun and given a winter mulch. More exposed plants can be protected with evergreen boughs. Benefits from a summer mulch or ground cover which will often help keep roots cool. Do not allow soils to dry out. Daphnes are often slow to establish and are best left undisturbed once planted.

Noteworthy Characteristics

'Lawrence Crocker' is a diminutive evergreen daphne hybrid (S. arbuscula x D. collina) which typically grows in a mound to 12" tall and as wide. It is a dense, slow-growing shrub which features narrow, thickly-textured, dark green, evergreen leaves and fragrant deep pink flowers which bloom from late spring into summer. From the garden of Lawrence Crocker, one of the founders of the Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery in Medford, Oregon.

Problems

Daphnes in the St. Louis area often suffer significant winter injury in severe winters, particularly if improperly planted in locations exposed to cold winter winds and full sun. Plants weakened by winter injury are more susceptible to disease problems. Potential diseases include leaf spots, canker, twig blight, crown rot and virus. Potential insect pests include aphids, mealy bugs and scale. Plants can be temperamental. Michael Dirr reports that daphnes sometimes die very quickly for "no explicable reason."

Garden Uses

A small, rounded shrub for rock gardens or other smaller gardens. Effective edging plant or small hedge. Also effective in border foregrounds and foundation plantings.