Daphne × burkwoodii 'Somerset'
Common Name: daphne 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Thymelaeaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Creamy white to pale pink
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: High
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant


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. Also best when planted in locations protected from winter winds and full sun. Benefits from a summer mulch or ground cover which will often help keep roots cool. Do not allow soils to dry out. Often slow to establish and is best left undisturbed once planted.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Daphnes are well known for their intensely fragrant flowers. This daphne hybrid is a cross between D. cneorum and D. caucasica.

Genus name originally used for laurel (Laurus nobilis) but later transferred to this genus. Originally, from the nymph of the same name from Greek mythology, but could come from an Indo-European word meaning odor.

The hybrid name burkwoodii honors the brothers Albert Burkwood (1890-?) and Arthur Burkwood (1888-1951), English nurserymen and plant hybridizers.

'Somerset' cultivar is a slow-growing, densely-branched, deciduous shrub which typically grows 2-3' (less frequently to 4') tall with a rounded, mounding habit. Features clusters of extremely fragrant, creamy white to pale blush-pink flowers in late spring which are followed by tiny red drupes (1/3" wide) in fall. Small, dense, oblong, bright green leaves (to 1 1/2" long) often persist well into December with no fall color.


A small, rounded shrub which is quite effective in smaller gardens. Plant in shrub borders, woodland gardens or incorporate into foundation plantings. Has good specimen value.