Scientific Name:
Daphne mezereum
terpenes diterpenes phorbol esters
Flower Color:
woodlands, ornamental, mountains

Geographical Distribution

Mezereon distribution - United States


Daphne mezereum

February daphne, mezereon, mezereum, spurge laurel, spurge olive, paradise plant
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Mezereon (Daphne mezereum) is a highly poisonous plant from the flowering plant family Thymelaeaceae. It is a small, frost-tolerant deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub with an erect and bushy habit. D mezereum produces very fragrant, lilac to rose-purple or white colored flowers which bloom in February to March, in clusters of 2 to 3 flowers, even before leaves develop. When leaves develop, they are alternate and simple, 40-80 mm in length, and which drop off in the winter. The fruit is a red or yellow drupe.

All parts of the plant are highly toxic, and yield an acrid, irritant sap though the bark and berries produce most. The sap contains an irritant, coumarin, and a resin, mezerein. The resin is thought to be the principal poison though there are also glycosides present.