Daphniphyllum macropodum

Plant of the month: January

Daphniphyllum macropodum

What a great name, Daphniphyllum macropodum.

With a leaf like a Daphne and a large foot! Despite its looks the plant is more closely related to euphorbias than daphnes, but it does have a big foot.

The foot in question is the fat red leaf stalk (petiole), which alongside the glossy sage green foliage and glaucous underside to the leaf are the prime ornamental qualities of this plant.

The flowers are strongly scented, but shy, being small and green and displayed underneath the leaves. In dappled shade it makes a dense mound of attractive foliage and an unusual background shrub for smaller flowering specimens. Its reputation as rather tender has been disproved by the winter of 2011 which it has survived unscathed.