Daphne cneorum

Common Name: daphne 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Thymelaeaceae
Native Range: Europe to western Asia
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: High
Suggested Use: Ground Cover
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Evergreen
Tolerate: Shallow-Rocky Soil


Best grown in evenly moist, very well-draining, sandy loams in part shade. Requires protection from winter winds and sun. Use pine boughs, leaves, or other loose mulch to protect the above ground stems in climates without winter snow cover. Mulch the root zone to help retain moisture. Prune after flowering in the spring to encourage reblooming in the fall. Avoid root disturbance or transplanting once established. Hardy in USDA Zones 5-9.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Daphne cneorum, commonly called rose daphne or garland flower, is a low-growing, evergreen shrub native to rocky outcrops and the edges of pine woodlands in Europe. Mature plants can reach up to 1.5' tall and 2-3' wide with a spreading to slightly mounding, prostrate growth habit. The leaves are narrowly spatulate (spoon-shaped) to oblanceolate and reach around 1" long and 0.20" wide. Terminal clusters (umbels) of small, fragrant, pink flowers bloom in spring. Often reblooms in the fall.

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 cneorum refers to the genus Cneorum, possibly due to similarities in leaf shape and growth habit between this species and members of Cneorum. Daphne and Cneorumn are not closely related.


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 and unpredictable. 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, mixed border fronts, alpine gardens, Mediterranean gardens, foundation plantings. Suitable as a specimen or in larger, group plantings. Plant near patios, entryways, or walkways so the fragrant blooms can be easily enjoyed.