Daphne oleoides Schreb., 1766
Common names: Olive daphne [En], Camelée faux olivier, Daphné faux Olivier [Fr], Ölbaumähnlicher Seidelbast [De], Dafne spatolata [It], Δάφνη η ελαιοειδής [Gr], Yabani Defne [Tu]
Grammos Mount, KASTORIA ● Greece
Description: Evergreen shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
The young shoots are reddish-brown, densely pubescent or sericeous, the older branches glabrous, bark grey.
The leaves are subsessile or with petioles 1-2 mm, coriaceous, obovate, oblanceolate or elliptic, 10-25(-30) x (3-)4-6(-9) mm, broadly acute, obtuse or mucronate, glaucous, margins thickened; young leaves densely or sparsely white-pilose, adaxial surface often glabrescent. The flowers are sessile, fragrant, white, sometimes purplish outside, in terminal clusters of 3-6. The flowers bracts are absent or minute, triangular-ovate, 2x1 mm, acute, caducous. The perianth is 10-16 mm, white or creamy-white, adpressed-pubescent or sericeous-villous; the lobes acute. The ovary is pubescent.
The fruit is ovoid, 4-6 mm, orange-red.
Subspecies and varieties:
• D. o. subsp. oleoides – Perianth lobes narrowly triangular or lanceolate, (3-)4-8 x 0.5-1.5 mm, upright growth, young shoots and leaves soft haired, later hairs only on the upper leave surface
• D. o. var. brachyloba – later hairs only on the lower leaf surface, densely leafy habit – Southern Europe
• D. o. var. buxifolia – branches villose and leaves silky on both sides –North of the Mediterranean Sea
• D. o. var. glandulosa – branches hairless and also leaves are only silky on the abaxial surface – from Italy to the Balkans
• D. o. subsp. baksanica – more or less prostrate growth, narrow leaves with long hairs, different hypanthium and disc – Russia Baksan River
• D. o. subsp. kurdica – Perianth lobes ovate or triangular-ovate, (2-)3-5 x 1.5-3.5 mm; cushion shaped habit, densely soft haired leaves – from Turkey to Iran
• D. o. subsp. transcaucasica – robust, sericeous form, different hypanthium and disc – Transcaucasus region.
Biology: Flowering from May to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite.
Habitat: Dry limestone slopes and screes, roadsides. From 1050 to 3200 m.
Distribution: South Europe, North Africa and West Asia to the Himalayas.
Caution: All parts of the plant are poisonous. Skin contact with the sap can cause dermatitis in some people.
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