Sunday, April 08, 2007
February Daphne (Daphne mezereum 'Alba')
Daphne mezereum 'Alba'
It’s hard to believe a plant that looks this nice and benign could be so toxic. I am glad I didn’t brush up against while photographing it. I have always thought that Daphnes as kind of weak growing but wonderful looking plant. This one was blooming last week despite the crummy weather we have been having. I know sometimes I forget what the weather was like in each month over the years but it seems like this is one of the worst Aprils I have experienced around here in a long time. It seems to me that looking back over the weather averages is not very helpful as April could finish very warm and would appear to be average when it has been cold. The forecast for Connecticut isn’t looking up much as they are forecasting subfreezing temperatures at night and highs only in the low 40s (F). I have probably said this before but for a multitude of reason I am desperate for spring to arrive in its usual way. I saw a Cherry Tree out in bloom where I was working in Darien yesterday. It was in the house next doors yard and it took everything I had not to scale the fence and try and take a picture of it. It looked like an Okame Cherry, which is one of my favorites. There was not one thing blooming in the yard I was working in.
This plant is a native of Europe and the white form is not as common as the pink one. This one gets yellow berries, which again are highly toxic although I have seen the birds eating them. It has the vague appearance of a Spirea and is more upright then the more traditional Daphnes that I grow. If you are going to try this one it prefers moist alkaline soil on the edge of the woods. It can grow in light shade or full sun. Once sited it is best to leave it alone as it resents root disturbance. It’s flowers are highly fragrant This particular plant is about 3.5 feet tall and 4 feet wide after about ten years.
Synonyms: Winter Daphne, Fragrant Daphne
Since there is not much to shoot outdoors I took an abstract of the glass vase that is holding some Forsythia that forced. I am going to be doing some correcting on some old posts later today I have to figure out a way to do that clandestinely. My grammar and punctuation is terrible.