Daphne – Identification

Q: I am trying to identify a new plant. I am fairly sure that it is a rhododendron, but why is it blooming now? Is it a special variety that blooms in winter? I am looking for plants that add some color to a boring winter landscape (other than pansies, that is).

A: The blooming plant is daphne. And by the white margins on the leaves, I’ll hazard a guess that it is Daphne albo-marginata.

Daphne is a favorite plant of mine. Though it is quite particular about soil drainage, wait ’til you smell the flowers in a couple of weeks! The fragrance will convince you to plant more!

Daphne likes a spot that gets morning sunshine but partial shade in the afternoon.

Other plants for winter color include Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis), winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) and winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima).

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