A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Daphne retusa Hemsl.

Modern name

Daphne tangutica Maxim.

A low, densely branched, evergreen shrub, of close, neat, sturdy habit; young shoots hairy. Leaves leathery, thick, densely arranged towards the end of the twig; oval inclined to obovate; 1 to 2 in. long, 12 to 34 in. wide; stalkless, the base tapered, the apex rounded and notched, margin revolute; dark glossy green, glabrous. Flowers produced during early May in a crowded cluster 3 in. across terminating the branch, each flower borne on a short, conspicuously brown-felted stalk; perianth tube glabrous, 58 in. long; rosy purple outside; glistening white, tinged with purple inside; lobes ovate, 13 in. long. Fruit bright red. Bot. Mag., t. 8430.

Native of W. China and the E. Himalaya; discovered by Pratt near Tatsien-lu (Kangting) at 13,500 ft elevation. Introduced from the same spot by Wilson in 1901 and more recently by Ludlow, Sherriff and Elliot from S.E. Tibet (LSE 15756). This delightful daphne makes a compact bush growing slowly to about 2 ft high; the flowers are fragrant, like lilac. It is very hardy and amenable to cultivation. See also D. tangutica.

D. × mantensiana T. M. C. Taylor & F. Vrugtman – A hybrid between D. × burkwoodii and D. retusa, raised at Manten’s nursery, British Columbia, and put into commerce in 1953. It is a bushy evergreen shrub with very fragrant flowers resembling those of D. retusa in their colouring. Leaves oblong or narrow-obovate, retuse at the apex. It is in cultivation at Wisley and other gardens. The original clone has been named ‘Manten’.



Other species in the genus