Daphne genkwa
Common name: 
Lilac Daphne
DAF-ne GENK-wa
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous shrub, grows to 3-4 ft (0.9-1.2 M), erect habit, stems thin and sparsely branched.   Leaves mostly opposite (unusual for Daphne), simple, about 3-6.5 cm long and 1.5-2.5 cm wide, lanceolate to ovate, apex acute, base rounded or wedge-shaped, both surfaces with silky hairs at first, later hairs only on the veins below, dull green above, paler below; petiole only 4 mm long.  Flowers appear in spring before leaves expand, amethyst lilac, rose purple or rarely white, flower tube about 1 cm long, in clusters of 2 to 7, some say flowers have a subtle fragrance others say scent-less.  Fruit small, white to reddish, black when dry, but often absent in cultivation.
  • Sun to part shade.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone (4)5      Native to China, Taiwan and Korea.
  • Caution: reportedly all parts of the plant are poisonous, and it has been used as a pesticide; dried flower buds are used in some Chinese medicine.
  • genkwa: "a transliteration of the Japanese pronunciation of its Chinese name" (Valder, 1999), which is Yuan Hua (Yuan Flower).
  • In the parking strip on the west side on 10th St. north of Polk Ave.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, spring flowering

    plant habit, spring flowering

  • flowering branches

    flowering branches

  • flowers


  • leafy shoots, after flowering

    leafy shoots, after flowering

  • shoot and leaf

    shoot and leaf

  • plant habit, summer

    plant habit, summer

  • foliage