New variegated daphnes have been appearing regularly over the last few years. Two years ago we had Daphne odora Rebecca (‘Hewreb’) and now another is one of the new plants most widely listed by nurseries in the 2012-2013 RHS Plantfinder.
Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ has been the standard for many decades but Robin White, the authority on daphnes says in his book “the narrow band of variegation is not significant in the garden.” It’s more creamy than yellow and really very narrow.
New this year is Daphne odora Marianni ('Rogbret') which features a broader band of colour around the edge of each leaf and in a more vivid yellow shade. It also features clusters of highly scented flowers in February and March, each flower reddish purple on the outside and pale pink within.
Marianni, like Rebecca, is much more colourful in its variegation than ‘Aureomarginata’. But unlike both ‘Aureomarginata’ and Rebecca, Marianni keeps most of its foliage right through the winter while the other two can look rather sparse in the colder months. Marianni is also more spreading in growth than Rebecca and its flowers are a slightly redder shade.
Found as a sport on a plant of ‘Aureomarginata’ in France in 2004, this looks to be an exceptional garden shrub, its bright variegated foliage providing colour all the year and its colourful early flowers bringing a powerful fragrance.
Daphne odora Marianni ('Rogbret') is available from these RHS Plantfinder nurseries.