Fun Facts About Daphne

There are around 100 different species of Daphne.

Daphne was a Naiad Nymph in Greek Mythology, and was the daughter of a river god. She was famous for being incredibly beautiful and for catching the eye of Apollo. However, Daphne was determined to remain unmarried and untouched by a man by the rest of her life.

Greek Mythology states that Apollo had been mocking the God of Love, EROS (also known as CUPID). In retaliation, Eros fired two arrows: a gold arrow that struck Apollo and made him fall in love with Daphne, and a lead arrow that made Daphne hate Apollo. Under the spell of the arrow, Apollo continued to follow Daphne, but she continued to reject him. Apollo told Daphne that he would love her forever.

Daphne turned to the river god, Peneus, and pleaded for him to free her from Apollo. In response, Peneus use metamorphosis to turn Daphne into a laurel tree. Apollo used his powers of eternal youth and immortality to make Daphne’s laurel leaves evergreen. It’s believed that Daphne has to sacrifice her body and turn into a tree as this was the only way she could avoid Apollo.


Planting Requirements For Daphne

Light: While some varieties of Daphne do fine in full sun, most will bloom best in part shade conditions. Given Apollow was the God of light, there is a bit of an irony here.

Soil: Daphnes require well-drained soil with plenty of compost and a slightly acidic soil pH.

Spacing: These shrubs should be planted 3 to 5 feet apart from each other.

Planting Time: Purchase plants for a local garden center and plant from spring to early fall on well-drained soil with moderate fertility.

Zones: Daphne shrubs can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9 (depending on cultivar), but in zones 4 and 5 they really should be considered semi-evergreen, or even deciduous, since they are likely to drop their leaves and grow new foliage in the early spring.

Time of Bloom: Daphne's pink buds emerge in February to March, becoming clusters of fragrant, tubular blooms.