|Daphne in bloom in April, photo by Rebecca Anderson|
The daphnes (Daphne sp.) are a group of broadleaf shrubs that add interest to gardens around the world. There are nearly 100 species of daphne, which are in the same family as thyme (Thymeaceae). The most common species in the United States are the D. xburkwoodii, hybridized by British brothers Albert and Arthur Burkwood who were accomplished nurserymen in the 1920's. The 'Somerset' cultivar is the original popular variety. A beautiful mutation of 'Somerset' was discovered by New Jersey gardener Carol Mackie in 1962. Since then, the 'Carol Mackie' cultivar has been widely propagated. It is listed as hardy in zones 5 to 9, although many gardeners in zone 4 have had success. 'Carol Mackie' joined my flower bed in 2007 as an impulse purchase, and has really made herself at home since.