Daphne kurdica

Common Name: daphne 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Thymelaeaceae
Native Range: Transcaucasus, Anatolia, Iran
Zone: 7 to 9
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: High
Suggested Use: Ground Cover
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Evergreen
Tolerate: Shallow-Rocky Soil


Best grown in evenly moist to dry, sandy to rocky, well-draining soils in full sun to part shade. Hardy in USDA Zones 7-9.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Daphne kurdica is a diminutive, evergreen shrub native to dry, rocky hillsides in western Turkey and northwestern Iran. Mature plants reach 9" tall and spread to fill a 1-3' area. The grey-green foliage is narrowly spatulate (spoon-shaped) and can reach around 0.75" long and 0.25" wide. The leaves also have a layer of soft hairs on their upper surfaces. The small, four-petaled, fragrant, white flowers are held in terminal clusters and bloom in the spring.

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 specific epithet kurdica refers to the Kurds, an ethic group who live primarily in parts of western Asia where this species is also native.


No major pest or disease problems have been reported. Daphnes in general tend to be finicky plants to grow. May suffer from winter injury in cold climates. Many are susceptible to root rot, crown rot, leaf spot diseases, stem cankers, and viruses. Watch for scale, aphids, and mealybugs. All parts of this plant are poisonous to humans if ingested, especially the fruits, sap and bark. Plant saps also typically cause skin irritations.


Rock gardens, alpine gardens, Mediterranean gardens. Suitable as a specimen or mass for a ground cover.