Daphne domini banner

Plant of the Month July 2023


Daphne domini has been growing in my scree bed for over 20 years. This small shrub came from Harvey Wrightman of Wrightman Alpines, as Daphne kosaninii. His source was Josef Halda. Soon after, Halda described Daphne domini, which differs from D. kosaninii with fully opening flowers. It also grows in the Pirin Mountains but at a higher altitude. All plants grown in our gardens are probably D. domini, not D. kosanini. Even the experts were confused!

Life Cycle: Evergreen sub-shrub. Stems have reddish brown bark.

Daphne domini winter 1

Daphne domini in winter. 

Height: About 20 cm high, 25 cm wide.

Bloom Time: Late May in Toronto.

Leaves: Alternate, lanceolate, glaucous green above, paler below. 15x4mm.

Daphne domini 1

Daphne domini flower buds. 

Flower Colour & Size: Pink, 6-8 x 2mm, in terminal clusters. Flowers do not open and are self fertile (cleistogamous).

Daphne domini flowers 

Daphne domini - leaves and cleistogamous flowers.

Fruit: Attractive orange berries to 8 mm long. Self seeds.

                 Daphne domini  - berries in June.                                       Berries close up.

Daphne domini berriesDaphne domini berries close

 Range: Native to Pirin Mountains in Bulgaria.

Habitat: Dry calcareous mountain slopes from 1800-2300m.


Light: Part shade to full sun.

Soil: Well drained, slightly alkaline.

Water: Moderate.

USDA Hardiness: to at least Zone 5.

Companion planting: Other rock garden plants.

Propagation: From seed - fresh is best. Requires scarification. Nick or rub between sheets of sandpaper. Pulpy coat inhibits germination. Remove by soaking and rinsing in clean water for approximately 7 days. Discard water. Sow at 4°C for 3 months, then place @ 20°C for 3 months.


The Genus Daphne, Halda, Josef J.  Sen Dobré 2001, ISBN 80-86483-00-2.

Daphnes: A  Practical Guide for Gardeners, White, Robin. Timber Press 2006,

ISBN -752-8.978-0-88192


Text and images supplied by Anna Leggatt (Toronto Master Gardener)