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Danae - Growing Guide
Growing Danae racemosa
Commonly known as ‘Alexandrian Laurel’
This is another genus of only one species which is closely related to ruscus. Its inflorescences are however, unlike ruscus, in terminal racemes and the flowers are bisexual. The so called ‘leaves’ are, in reality, flattened branches which perfectly resemble leaves and serve the same function.
D. racemosa is a most elegant evergreen clump forming shrub which grows 2-4ft high with green slender erect and spreading semi-woody stems. The ‘leaves’ are alternate and lanceolate in shape. Roughly 2-4in long and ¼-1½in wide. They are bright green on both sides.
The flowers are fairly insignificant on what is primarily a foliage shrub which is native to Turkey and Iran. They are small and greenish yellow in groups of four to six at the end of the branches on each stalk. The ensuing berries are red and rounded.
Danae has an almost bamboo like habit and, possibly surprisingly, it has been one of the most popular evergreen shrubs in our catalogue in recent springs. Indeed we have sold out on occasion.
This plant will grow in sun or shade but probably produces a cleaner green display where the stems do not get sun scorched. It can be used in numbers as an effective groundcover and is perfect in a damp fernery or near water. It is totally frost hardy.
The seed can readily be grown in containers in the cold frame in autumn once the fleshy parts have been removed. Larger clumps can be gently lifted and divided in the winter.