Lottah Nursery Tasmania, Australia

Daphne bholua

Syn. 'Paper Daphne', 'Lokta'

This is one of the largest of daphnes with plants in the wild reported to grow in excess of 5 m high. Under cultivation it is a vigorous shrub with almost fastigate growth when young.

Appears to be commonplace in its native habitat in the Himalayas since the bark was used for making paper and rope.

There is much variability within Daphne bholua from different sources; plants may be evergreen, deciduous or partially so, and flowers range from white to deep purple.

Several clones are available:
'Jacqueline Postill', pictured on left, was selected by Alan Postill in 1982 from a seedling of 'Gurkha'. It is easily the most popular cultivar with masses of purple-pink flowers over 22 mm across in mid-Winter, four weeks before odora, spreading a powerful fragrance that extends for some considerable distance. It continues flowering for over 8 weeks into mid-August. Mature size would be around 2 m high and half that across.
A white form, 'f. albiflora', often referred to as D. bholua 'Alba', is reported to make a more compact shrub; it is pictured at bottom left. First flowering in the greenhouse was several weeks later than 'Jacqueline Postill' grown outdoors, and extended well into October; young plants were much more floriferous than the former.

Although near deciduous at Lottah, we have observed the same clone to be partially evergreen a few km. down the road at a warmer location (a different rootstock may have some bearing on this).

(click on thumbnails for larger images)

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D. bholua 'Jacqueline Postill' in flower
Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill' detail
White D. bholua flower

7352 (1, 4, 29, 161)