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Daphniphyllum macropodum

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Daphniphyllum (Daphniphyllum macropodum) at Homestead Gardens



(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Daphniphyllum (Daphniphyllum macropodum) at Homestead Gardens

Daphniphyllum foliage

Daphniphyllum foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  20 feet

Spread:  20 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6a


This variety closely resembles a rhododendron, but flowers are inconspicuous; long, broad, glossy leaves with bright pink petioles hang down from the branches, creating a lovely green display; dark blue berries in late winter

Ornamental Features

Daphniphyllum has attractive dark green foliage with pointy chartreuse spines. The large glossy narrow leaves are highly ornamental and remain dark green throughout the winter. The fruits are showy steel blue drupes displayed in late winter. The flowers are not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Daphniphyllum is a multi-stemmed evergreen tree with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Daphniphyllum is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Daphniphyllum will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 20 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This tree performs well in both full sun and full shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America.

Daphniphyllum is a fine choice for the yard, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Screening  Garden  Container 
Fruit  Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features