LAWNDALE, Ca. — Daphne ‘Perfume Princess’, part of Anthony Tesselaar Plants’ line of distinctively different plants has raised the bar for Daphne as a genus. In the short time since its 2015 release at the Melbourne International Flower Show, it’s been presented with multiple awards for its performance.
In 2016 it was awarded the prestigious honor of “Plant of the Year” by the Australian Nursery and Garden Industry Association. “Daphne ‘Perfume Princess’ has seen phenomenal success in Europe and New Zealand, and we couldn’t be happier to see Aussies enjoying this beautiful plant on our own shores," said Peter Vaughan, CEO of the association. "We have seen great demand for this variety, with plants selling out as soon as they become available. Judges were delighted with the standard and quality of entries this year and applauds winners for displaying exceptional leadership."
Daphne ‘Perfume Princess’ was bred by renowned New Zealand-based Mark Jury who was determined to improve Daphne selections. His success came when he combined the tough growth habit of Daphne bholua types with the heady fragrance and flowering performance of Daphne odora. “It is just a brilliant plant to grow and a terrific nursery plant to produce,” Mark said. “That is not true of most Daphnes which can be very difficult to produce in containers. This is both the first and the last Daphne to bloom each year in our garden.”
In June 2018 the UK’s leading horticulture publication, Horticulture Week awarded it the “Best New Ornamental Plant Variety.” According to the announcement in Horticulture Week, demand in the UK is now outstripping production. “It was chosen because Daphne ‘Perfume Princess’ has a very long flowering period and flowers from the tip all the way down the stem. Extremely tough and durable, it can withstand high temperatures, drought, humidity and waterlogging. The plant does not suffer the yellowing of leaves that is so common in Daphne. It is also extremely vigorous, an excellent grower and responds very well to pruning. In three years of growing, Wyevale Nurseries (UK) has not lost a single plant. The plant is grown as a three-litre and will be 4.5-litre in 2018-19. This new size is to help highlight how strong-growing the variety is and to offer an extra-large specimen.”
Most recently, ‘Perfume Princess’ was awarded the 2018 Gold Medal in Belgium’s Florall Award. In being honored with the Florall Award, the jury praised this newcomer because of its surprisingly original combination of flower, leaf and fragrance. The high usability of this plant was also appreciated, since Daphne is not considered to be the easiest plant to grow. Daphne 'Perfume Princess' was touted by the judges as one the earliest and longest-flowering of all Daphne species. It has one of the sweetest scents and an abundance of large pale pink to white sweet-smelling flowers. ‘Perfume Princess’ offers a long flowering period with large open, pink flowers that fade to white. The intense flower clusters can also bloom along the stems and are highly perfumed with soft citrus undertones.
Compared to many of its peers Daphne 'Perfume Princess' is better suited to difficult circumstances. Additional assets of this winner are that the plant tolerates a wider temperature range and is a vigorous grower.
Daphne ‘Perfume Princess’ photo courtesy of Anthony Tesselaar Plants