A superb group of about 50 species of shrub, of which most are in cultivation. The flowers are relatively small, but are usually produced in large numbers. Their colour is pink, cream or yellow. However the really attractive feature of the flowers is their scent. On a warm day it will fill the surrounding area with a delicious fragrance.
Most flower in spring, but some are later and some of the early ones sometimes have a second flush of flowers in late summer. The foliage, which is sometimes glossy, is also attractive when the plant is out of flower and in some species the fruit is also very colourful.
Daphnes are not the easiest plants to grow and sometimes die suddenly. You have probably done nothing wrong, as well as being a bit temperamental on the whole they are not very long lived, especially if they are grown in a heavy soil. They do better on a well drained soil as long as it is not too dry.
The smaller species are particularly well-suited to rock gardens. They generally require no pruning. They can be grown from seed or cuttings. Some of the more difficult species require grafting.