Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Daphne odora 'Aureo-marginata'

Common Name
Winter Daphne
CA Native
Plant Type
3' - 5' x 5'
Flower Color
Pale Pinkish-White
Bloom Time
  • Spring
  • Winter
Bright Green Leaf with Creamy White Edge
Deer Resistant
Seldom Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Attracts Beneficial Insects
  • Bees
Growth Rate
Adverse Growth Factors
Special Features
  • Fragrance
  • Low Maintenance
  • Specimen
Water Use
  • Low
  • Moderate
Soil pH
5.5-6.4 (acid)
  • Partial Shade
  • Shade
Soil Type
Well Drained
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

Daphne odora is noted for its most exquisite fragrance. The fragrance can be smelled from a distance of 15 - 20 feet. It blooms in late winter to early spring in Marin.  The varigated form is also lovely because of the creme edged leaves which brighten up a shady spot in your garden. This is not the easiest plant to grow but it is well worth the extra effort that it requires.

Plant slightly above grade in amended, loamy, porous, acidic soil with perfect drainage since this plant is susceptible to root rot.  Does well on slopes, rock gardens or in raised beds. Mulch in a 2 - 3 foot circle around the plant. Do not let mulch touch the bark. Once established Daphne needs very littel summer water when planted in the shade & occassional water when planted in part sun. In fact, the less water in summer the more flowers this plant produces in the winter.

Attractive to nectar loving insects.

This plant is susceptible to root rot and can also carry viral diseases which will cause it to die suddenly. Make sure you pick a plant that has dark green, glossy leaves that grow horizontally from the stem to avoid getting a diseased plant. Even though Daphne has some disease problems the fragrance alone is worth giving this plant a try.

Master Gardener Comments

Daphnes are tempermental but I still have several Daphne scattered throughout the shady areas of my gardens. I have lost a few also but keep buying more because of their fragrance &  beautiful leaves.


D. odora - leaves are a glossy green

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