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Daphne laureola - L.

Common Name Spurge Laurel
Family Thymelaeaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards All parts of the plant are poisonous[200]. Skin contact with the sap can cause dermatitis in some people[65, 200].
Habitats Woods, mainly on calcareous soils, where it is widespread and rather common[17].
Range Western and southern Europe, from Britain and Belgium to Spain and Macedonia, N. Africa, W. Asia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Daphne laureola Spurge Laurel


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Velela
Daphne laureola Spurge Laurel

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Daphne laureola is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in leaf all year, in flower from February to April. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies).
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Abortifacient  Cancer  Emetic  Emmenagogue  Purgative

The leaves have been used as an emmenagogue, though they can cause purging and vomiting[4]. Both the leaves and the bark have been used to procure abortions[4]. The plant contains various toxic compounds and these are currently being investigated (1995) for anti-leukaemia effects[238].

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Scented Plants

Cultivation details

Prefers a moist soil and a position in semi-shade, growing well in woodlands[11]. Plants are often found growing in dense shade in the wild[245]. A good sandy loam suits most members of this genus[11]. Flowers are produced towards the ends of the previous year's growth[11]. They are sweetly scented[245]. Plants are resentful of root disturbance and should be planted into their permanent positions as soon as possible[188].

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe with the pot sealed in a polythene bag to hold in the moisture. Remove this bag as soon as germination takes place[164]. The seed usually germinates better if it is harvested 'green' (when it has fully developed but before it dries on the plant) and sown immediately. Germination should normally take place by spring, though it sometimes takes a further year. Stored seed is more problematic. It should be warm stratified for 8 - 12 weeks at 20°c followed by 12 - 14 weeks at 3°c. Germination may still take another 12 months or more at 15°c[164]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Grow the plants on in the greenhouse for their first winter and then plant out in spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Daphne-laurel, laurel-leaved daphne, olive-spurge, wood laurel, copse laurel

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Its native range covers much of Europe and extends to Algeria, Morocco and the Azores. Now distributed to other areas including the US.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

This plant can be weedy or invasive. Outside its native range, D. laureola can become a dangerous invasive weed. It is a Class B Noxious weed in Washington state, USA. It is considered problematic in garry oak and similar ecosystems in British Columbia. It has the ability to rapidly colonize areas forming monotypic stands and competing with native plants.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Brachyloma ciliatumDaphne HeathShrub0.4 8-11 SLMHSNM00 
Chamaedaphne calyculataLeather LeafShrub0.8 6-9  LMHSNM11 
Daphne bholua Shrub2.0 7-10  MHFSNDM01 
Daphne genkwaLilac DaphneShrub1.5 4-8  MHSNM03 
Daphne gnidiumFlax-Leaved DaphneShrub1.5 7-10  MHSNDM01 
Daphne involucrata Shrub0.0 -  MHSNM00 
Daphne mezereumMezereon, Paradise plant, February DaphneShrub1.5 4-7 MMHSM02 
Daphne odoraWinter Daphne, Fragrant DaphneShrub1.5 7-9 SMHSNM02 
Daphne oleoides Shrub1.0 7-10  MHNDM11 
Daphne papyracea Shrub1.5 7-10  MHSM01 
Daphne pseudomezereum Shrub1.5 5-9  MHSM00 
Salix daphnoidesViolet Willow, Daphne willowTree10.0 4-8 FLMHNMWe12 

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

1117200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Corrie McAliley   Thu Aug 30 2007

PLEASE, remember that this plant is not native to North America and do not grow it here, it has escaped in the PNW and is damaging ecosystems there, outcompeting native forage plants that wildlife need. Please remember that plants can escape and then be there forever.

Denver Carere   Fri Jul 17 2009

I second Corrie's comment. I am work right now researching methods of dealing with Daphne, it is one of the most invasive species in the Pacific Northwest, please do not plant it.

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