Daphne is a genus of between 70 and 95 species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs in the family Thymelaeaceae, native to Asia, Europe and north Africa. They are noted for their scented flowers and brightly coloured berries. Most have alternate leaves, and all have tubular, reflexed, scented flowers which are carried in clusters.
Many species flower in late winter or very early spring. Daphne bholua originates in Nepal in the eastern Himalayas, hence its common name of Nepalese paper plant and its hardiness. It forms an upright growing evergreen shrub with leathery mid-green oval leaves. Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ AGM was raised at Hillier Nurseries by propagator Alan Postill and named for his wife. It was lost to cultivation for several years but is now available by micro-propagation. It produces clusters of pretty, intensely fragrant flowers which are pink on the outside and white within. The fragrance is powerful, sweet and delicious, even on cold days. It makes an ideal shrub for the small garden because it is slow growing and flowers during the late winter from when most other plants are dormant. Average height 1.8m.
Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ AGM require fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. It hates being transplanted and should only be pruned when absolutely necessary, to control size and shape. Old plants are subject to virus and produce little or no foliage; when this occurs, they are best replaced.
Page image: Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ AGM (Image courtesy of HPS image library)