An evergreen bush 2 to 3 ft high, of bushy habit; young shoots silky-hairy. Leaves obovate, tapered at the base, mostly rounded or blunt at the apex; 3⁄4 to 13⁄4 in. long, 1⁄4 to 5⁄8 in. wide, dark glossy green above, pale and very hairy beneath. Flowers fragrant, purplish rose, produced in a terminal head of ten to fifteen blossoms; they are 1⁄2 in. across, and felted with silky hairs outside; lobes roundish ovate; ovary silky. Bot. Mag., t. 428.
Native of the Mediterranean region, with two main areas of distribution, one on the west coast of Italy from Tuscany to the Naples area and the other in Crete and southern Asia Minor; cultivated in 1752. In previous editions of this work it was stated that D. collina is ‘not very hardy’. This may have been true of the form known to the author (the species has a wide range and may well vary in this respect). But the form current in gardens at the present time appears to be perfectly hardy, though, like most daphnes, not long-lived.
D. sericea Vahl is very closely allied to the preceding and the two might well be considered to be states of one species. Typically, D. sericea differs in its generally shorter and narrower leaves, which are thinly silky-hairy beneath, and by its fewer (six to eight) flowers; other points of difference are given by Keissler, but are not reliable. D. sericea appears to have much the same natural range as D. collina.