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TREES & plants

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 feet 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: 
  • Specimen, 
  • Massing, 
  • Mixed border, 
  • Patio/sidewalk
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.

Daphne x burkwoodii or Burkwood's Daphne

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