Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Burkwood Daphne
Daphne x burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie'

Family: Thymelaeaceae
Genus: Daphne (DAF-nee) (Info)
Species: x burkwoodii (berk-WOOD-ee-eye) (Info)
Cultivar: Carol Mackie

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


Unknown - Tell us

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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By Terry
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There are a total of 31 photos.
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13 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive rose_gardenmom On Nov 2, 2014, rose_gardenmom from Boise, ID wrote:

If I had known the eventual size of this (four feet tall and probably six feet across), I would have sited it differently. Must occasionally cut it back severely on one side to be able to continue using my backyard steps . . . which leaves ugly bare stems on that side. Purchased from Bluestone Perennials a decade or so ago. Reading about the plant years later, it appears that I accidentally did all the things it prefers: started with a small snippet instead of a larger potted plant, and planted it in partly sandy soil that provides excellent drainage, in a spot with dappled shade. (Many plants that are listed as full-sun prefer a bit of shade in our area.)

Positive valygirlgj On Jul 23, 2014, valygirlgj wrote:

A gorgeous shrub with the most wonderful scent, Carol Mackie can be grown here in Western Colorado, but not in full sun. Needs afternoon shade. Feed with an acid fertilizer after it blooms.

Neutral DaffyCarolMcKay On Jun 10, 2014, DaffyCarolMcKay from Wethersfield, CT wrote:

Help! I planted a Daphne C.M. about three weeks ago. It's in full sun, in a spot mulched with small stone. Into the soil I added some fine mulched leaves. Mistake?? There is some new growth, but also some leaves are turning brown. Is this normal in any way? Should I feedit?

Positive bluethumb3 On May 19, 2014, bluethumb3 from South Deerfield, MA wrote:

I received this shrub as a birthday gift 10 years ago. I got it in a two gallon pot. It's planted on a slope that faces west in zone 5b and in full sun. I read that they are short lived but my is doing very well as it is 7' across and 4' tall. Right now it is in full bloom and the scent will easily travel 50'. It's just heavenly.

Positive coriaceous On Mar 12, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is one plant that's worth all the hype it receives in the fine gardening press.

It blooms profusely and reliably in May, but it also repeat blooms well at other times, seemingly on whim. I've seen it in bloom in November, in February---I'm not sure there's a month in which I haven't seen it bloom. The fragrance is sweet and it perfumes the air.

The foliage is close to evergreen here, though in bad winters it only hangs on to the leaves at the tips.

Plants never seem to get much over two feet tall. If they don't first drop mysteriously dead, as daphnes are wont to do, at some point their main stems will split and they sprawl. I've seen several old plants at least 8 feet across, sprawling outward from their broken centers. They still bloom well, and contribute to the landscape despite their doughnut shape.

Good drainage is a requirement. I've seen plants performing adequately in partial to medium shade.

I've never had the courage to prune a daphne beyond removing broken branches.

Daphnes are notorious for not liking being in pots. I bought a Carol Mackie from a reputable nursery, planning on holding it a week. Watered it on day 2, and within hours the leaves started to shrivel. It was dead in two more days. The moral: get it in the ground ASAP.

Positive AvonRose On Jul 12, 2013, AvonRose from Avon, CT wrote:

I live on a ridge in Avon CT and planted an 8" trident potted sprig eleven years ago. It grew to about 31/2' high and 41/2' wide. The past two winters have been brutal and two of the three the 6-7" circumference trunks split near the base. It has been a spectacular show since year one. A horticultuaralist said the remaining healthy trunk and considerable bush can be saved with careful pruning and care. We will "go for it". I will also try to grow a wood cutting from this shrub with his help.

Positive rkwright85 On Jul 14, 2012, rkwright85 from Horton, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Nice daphne, fragrance is so strong it is almost overwhelming. They split in two a lot of times when they get older, keeping long extension growth trimmed back after flowering helps a little. Like any daphne, does not like to be disturbed once it is planted. Pick a spot and keep it there or it will likely die. Burkwood daphnes are one of the easiest to grow, just give it good drainage and sun.

Neutral esteve59 On Oct 19, 2011, esteve59 from Annapolis, MD wrote:

I planted a "matched" pair of these on each side of my walkway about 2-3 years ago and they grew fairly fast.
But,one of them just I have to move the other one,,,

Positive patienceplus On May 15, 2011, patienceplus from Voluntown, CT wrote:

This is one of my most treasured shrubs. It's flowers fill the air with a sent I wish I could wear. I do have a question, however, It has grown mostly wide from the base, like octopus tentacles. The branches reach in all directions and are healthy and productive. The center, on the other hand is bare with just 4" thick branches exposed. Can this shrub be pruned way back to force these branches to sprout or does this shrub not take kindly to severe pruning?

Positive windsocklady On Jun 2, 2009, windsocklady from Elbridge, NY wrote:

I got two of these plants from White Flower Farms about 5 years ago. They were in 1 gal. containers. I have them planted in a raised flower bed and they get full sun to partial shade. They must like it there as they have grown to approximately 4' x 4'. I have people who stop in and comment on the sweet fragrance when they are in bloom. I will enjoy these shrubs for as long as possible. I understand they are short-lived, so I hope they last a while.

Positive stormyla On Nov 22, 2008, stormyla from Norristown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is by far, the most commented on plant in my shrub bed. It is just beautiful and vigorous. It requires almost no care and increases in size dramatically each year. Visitors love it's beautiful form, color and fragrance.

Positive irishbelle On May 25, 2006, irishbelle from Orange County, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

I love this shrub. Two of mine have been growing in a bed on a slight slope with excellent drainage and morning sun for four years. They were planted as very small one gallon plants. The blooms are now abundant, though it took me three years before I received a heavy bloom. They smell heavenly, but at first it can be so sweet that enjoying the fragrance from a distance is better than sticking your nose in the flowers :-) Mine have attained a height of about 3+ feet and a spread of about 3.5 - 4 feet. Daphnes are supposedly deer resistant. While I don't get a lot of deer damage because they lose most of their leaves in my zone, I do experience some slight "chew pruning" (stole that term from some one on DG). This pruning method actually seems beneficial for my plants. I trim off the ragged ends, and my daphnes reward me with lush fully leafed out shrubs and fabulous new growth by the end of May. In colder climates they can be slow to leaf out again. One of my plants is a full two weeks behind the other, so allow some time before giving up your daphne for dead in the spring.

Positive dahlia_guy On Sep 11, 2003, dahlia_guy from Saint Helens, OR wrote:

Very nice plant. They can be fussy about thier soil. It must be well drained. Also, water as little as possible during the summer, this will result in better blooms. They can however suffer from unexplained illness' without any warning. Enjoy them as long as you can but don't be suprised if one day they get sick without warning.

Positive jjkatt On May 31, 2003, jjkatt from Derry, NH wrote:

I inherited 3 of these when I purchased a house 2 year ago and they seemed to be doing fine until this spring when I discovered that one of the three had not survived the winter. Winter was brutal here with the longest stretches of sub-20 degree weather that anyone can remember. I also found small, bright orange spots on the trunk of the dead one.

Positive lupinelover On Jan 13, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

As a named cultivar, this plant does not come true from seed. The rooted cuttings tend to be pricey, due to the difficulty in propagating it. Mine is worth every penny.

Daphnes have a reputation for being short-lived; however many individual plants reach several decades in age. I sure hope mine does!

Neutral Terry On Mar 9, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Burkwood Daphnes are the result of a cross between D. cneorum and D. caucasica. The resulting cultivar was named for Mrs. Carolyn Brett (formerly Carol Mackie), who discovered the mutation of the hybrid in her New Jersey garden.

Two smallish plants were set out in my garden last year; contrary to warnings of slow growth, they each put on good growth and remained evergreen here in our (slightly-warmer-than-typical) zone 6b/7a winter. They even flowered, and the fragrance is VERY distinctive. A great plant that doesn't seem to need a lot of care.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Belvedere Tiburon, California
Hydesville, California
Penn Valley, California
Denver, Colorado
Fort Collins, Colorado
Grand Junction, Colorado (2 reports)
Avon, Connecticut
Stonington, Connecticut
Voluntown, Connecticut
Westbrook, Connecticut
Wethersfield, Connecticut
Augusta, Georgia
Barnesville, Georgia
Boise, Idaho
Winnetka, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
South Bend, Indiana
Westfield, Indiana
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Alfred, Maine
Hancock, Maine
South China, Maine
Peabody, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
South Deerfield, Massachusetts
Winchendon, Massachusetts
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Horton, Michigan
Sterling, Michigan
Helena, Montana
Crete, Nebraska
Derry, New Hampshire
Hightstown, New Jersey
Elbridge, New York
Pleasantville, New York
Davidson, North Carolina
Cleveland, Ohio
Cortland, Ohio
Euclid, Ohio
Rocky River, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Saint Helens, Oregon
Albion, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Jamestown, Rhode Island
Conway, South Carolina
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Alexandria, Virginia
Ocean Shores, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Madison, Wisconsin
Porterfield, Wisconsin

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