Some 50 species of small deciduous and evergreen shrubs. Leaves simple, alternate, rarely opposite, often leathery, usually having entire margins, petioles short of absent. Flowers small, usually fragrant, calyx a cylindrical fleshy tube with 4 spreading lobes, colored mauve, white, sometime yellow or yellow-green, petals absent. Fruit leathery or fleshy, yellow, red, black or orange, 1 seeded. Native to Europe, north Africa, both temperate and subtropical Asia.
Daphne: for Daphne, the nymph changed by Appolo into Laurus nobilis, the bay tree.