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Daphne mezereum

Mezereon, February daphne

Fragrant early season flowers

A choice and desirable shrub with upright stems and narrow green leaves growing to 60cm (2ft). Small, sweetly fragrant purple red flowers crowd the bare straight stems in late winter and early spring before the leaves appear. These are often followed by small scarlet berries. A lovely shrub to grow close to the house where the scent can be enjoyed. Small sprigs can be cut to enjoy indoors; it lasts better in water than other daphnes.


A sheltered spot in full sun or semi-shade. Plant against plain evergreens or with pulmonarias, brunneras and early spring bulbs


A well-drained reasonably fertile soil; grows best on chalk. Prune after flowering to remove some of oldest stems to encourage new shoots that flower the following season.  

The name dahne comes from the Greek word meaning laurel

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Ornamental shrub
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available March - September
Season of interest Spring, Autumn
Flowering March - April
Evergreen No
Plant height 100 cm - 150 cm
Plant width 50 cm - 100 cm
Fragrant flowers Yes
Hazardous All parts highly toxic if ingested
Attracts bees No
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 120 cm
Medicinal No
Hardiness zone (?) H5

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Chalk, Sand, Loam
Light exposure Full sun, Part shade
Soil drainage Well drained, Moist
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Cottage garden, Informal garden, Flower border and beds

Typically available

From March to September