Why isn't Daphne mezereum more commonly grown here?

Camano Island, WA(Zone 8a)

We bought our house 13 years ago, and it had some Daphne mezereum bushes as foundation plantings. We moved them to another location - so I understand why they do not transplant well. They have a taproot that goes amazingly far down. Many feet. Out of the 14 or so we moved, only 1 made it.

But now it has seeded a couple of places in our yard. I am sure I could move them while small, but they are in nice places.

The bush is a little stiff, but it has beautiful blossoms in late winter and the blossoms have a wonderful perfume. Then, this time of year, there are red berries. I know the berries are toxic, but a lot of other common plants have toxic parts (Digitalis, Aconite, etc.) I ignore my shrub and it never needs supplemental water. It is completely healthy and happy and it grows slowly.

So I have a question: why are they not more common? I have never seen one for sale in a nursery. Are other Daphnes so much better that this one just doesn't compare (I have never grown another Daphne)? Are they difficult to propagate? I am very curious.

Here are a couple of pics from this week. I looked but can't find any pics with the flowers.

Thumbnail by momlady Thumbnail by momlady
Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

You are right, very nice shrub (you must get flower pics this winter!). Maybe I will beg a seedling from you sometime. I love the bright purple flowers when everything else is so dead looking.
I have a vague memory you had a 'Carol Mackie' or some such Daphne when you lived in Bellingham? I seem to recall you telling me they were not long lived. So I never tried any.
The only Daphne I have had was the Daphne laureolum that was here when I moved in. It was old and straggly, and I planned to prune it or to buy a new little one, but the nursery warned me how invasive they were so I just removed it. I was sorry for the Cedar Waxwings though-they loved it! And I saw no seedlings although it had obviously been there a very long time.

Camano Island, WA(Zone 8a)

You are right! I did have a 'Carol Mackie' that I bought in LaConner. It didn't take me long to kill it. From the day I planted it, it went downhill.

Seattle, WA



I love those red berries!

Springfield, OR(Zone 8a)

I would certainly plant something that looked like that! I was told that here, though, no Daphnes survive. Perhaps it gets too hot in the Willamette valley? Or maybe the information I got was wrong. Which would be a good thing, as far as I'm concerned.

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