Daphniphyllum macropodum

16 Jun

Daphniphyllum macropodum (18/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Daphniphyllum macropodum (18/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 10m

Eventual Spread: 8m

Hardiness: 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Daphniphyllum

Daphniphyllum macropodum Flower (18/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Daphniphyllum macropodum Flower (18/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Daphniphyllum macropodum is an evergreen large shrub or small tree with a rounded habit. Its dark green glossy leaves are ovate with entire margins, up to 25cm long and 6.5cm across. Its grey/ brown bark is smooth. This plant is dioecious, with male and female plants. Its pink flowers appear in raceme clusters and emerge from the leaf axils. When fertilised its female plants produce  purple/ brown drupes which are up to 1cm long.

Daphniphyllum macropodum Leaf (18/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Daphniphyllum macropodum Leaf (18/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Daphniphyllum macropodum, commonly known as False Daphne and Redneck Rhododendron, is native to China, Japan and Korea. In its native habitat it grows in mixed forests.

The etymological root of the binomial name Daphniphyllum is derived from the name of another genus Daphne and the Greek phylum meaning ‘leaf’. Macropodum is derived from the Greek  makros meaning ‘large’ and the Greek podos meaning ‘stalk’.

Daphniphyllum macropodum Bark (18/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Daphniphyllum macropodum Bark (18/04/2015, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

The landscape architect may find Daphniphyllum macropodum useful as an attractive foliage shrub or small tree. A sheltered position is preferred as its emerging shoots are damaged by frost in spring.

Ecologically, Daphniphyllum macropodum berries are attractive to some birds.

Daphniphyllum macropodum prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Daphniphyllum macropodum requires little maintenance.

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