Burkwood's daphne

Flowers and leaves of Burkwood's Daphne, cultivar 'Carol Mackie'.

Burkwood's daphne is a semi-evergreen shrub for sandy, well-drained soils. The wide-spreading, 3- to 4-foot high shrub is grown for its extremely fragrant flower clusters in May. This plant will suffer in cold winters and should be located in a protected site. The cultivar 'Carol Mackie' is a popular variegated form. May be difficult to find in local nurseries.

Botanical name:

Daphne x burkwoodii

All Common Names:

Burkwood's daphne, burkwood daphne

Family (English):

Mezereum

Family (Botanic):

Thymelaceae

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Massing,
  • Mixed border,
  • Patio/sidewalk,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil,
  • Sandy soil

Season of Interest:

  • Early spring,
  • Early summer,
  • Mid summer

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Fragrant,
  • Pink

Shape or Form:

  • Mounded,
  • Round

Growth Rate:

  • Slow

More Information:

Size & Form

A semi-evergreen, fragrant shrub growing 3-4 feet high with a compact, rounded, wide spreading habit.

Tree & Plant Care

Requires full sun in an extremely well-drained, sandy soil.
Short-lived in clay soil because of water retention.
Water well in dry periods.
Best planted in spring in a protected site out of wind.
Winter protect in cold climates.

Disease, pests, and problems

Leaf spots, crown rots, cankers, wilt, wet soil

Native geographic location and habitat

A cross between Caucasian daphne (Daphne caucasica) and (D. cneorum), originating in England.

Bark color and texture 

Brownish-gray.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Gray-green, 2-inch long leaves persist well into December.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Fragrant clusters of pale pink flowers in late spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Tiny 1/3" wide red drupes in fall.

Cultivars and their differences 

Carol Mackie Burkwood's Daphne (Daphne x burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie'):  Best known for its variegated foliage, dense mounded habit growing 2-3 feet tall. Pale pink flowers are extrememly fragrant.

Location of Daphne x burkwoodii (Burkwood's daphne) at the Arboretum

We do not seem to have this in our living collection.