The November plant of the month is the Himalayan Daphne, also known as the Daphne Jacqueline Postill. It is one of my favourite winter-flowering, scented, evergreen shrubs with clusters of dainty shell-pink flowers. It was named after the wife of Alan Postill, the propagator who raised it at Hillier’s nursery in 1982. It was first introduced here from its native region in the Himalayan Mountains in Asia about 70 years ago.
What makes the Himalayan Daphne special? Well, it is one of the most powerful emitters of spring fragrance.
Jacqueline Postill is a beautiful flower that is flowering brilliantly this spring in gardens. Many kinds of Daphne’s are scented but this is one of the best. It emits a wonderfully sweet scent. It flowers in winter and early spring (generally up until April). The flowers are red-pink in bud, opening white with pale red-purple remaining on the back of the flower. The flowers are often followed by plump black berries, especially after a warm summer. The plant is fast-growing and begins to flower while still quite small, with the flowering increasing as it matures. The leaves are long, rich green and leathery creating an interesting shape after flowering. The flowering stems can be picked in spring to add scent and colour indoors.
It is a reliable plant. I find this Daphne to be one of the most reliable varieties to flower each year in my garden. It is bigger than the other Daphne’s seen in gardens, upright in shape, reaching about 6 feet.
Care Tips For The Jacqueline Postill
- Plant it in a large pot with John Innes compost or plant in the garden in a position in good fertile soil.
- Add pea gravel to the soil before planting.
- It loves a bright and sunny south-facing location in firm soil.
- It is ideal for sheltered and sunny gardens.
- The flowers should be pruned to shape immediately after flowering.
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