Botanical Name: Daphne bholua
Species: D. bholua
Synonyms: D. cannabina. pro parte. D. papyrifera.
Common Name: Nepalese paper plant
Habitat: Daphne bholua is native to E. Asia – Himalayas – Uttar Pradesh to S.W. China.It grows in the Himalayas and neighbouring mountain ranges, from Nepal to southern China. At lower altitudes it is found as an evergreen in thickets and forest margins; at higher altitudes.
Daphne. bholua is an evergreen or semi-evergreen shrub growing to 2 m (6ft) by 1.5 m (5ft). It is usually erect, sparsely branched, but may be more bushy in cultivation. It is in leaf all year,. Leaves are short-stalked, 5-10cm long and thinly leathery. Flowers are very fragrant and are borne in terminal and axillary clusters from midwinter to early spring are white, flushed purplish-pink. Black ovoid fruits follow.
Prefers a cool lime-free well-drained sandy loam and a sunny position. Succeeds in neutral soils and tolerates partial shade. Plants also succeed in quite deep shade. At least some forms, especially the sub-species D. bholua glacialis.(see below) tolerate alkaline soils. Flowers well when grown in dry shade. Likes plenty of moisture in the growing seaso]. Grows well in London, tolerating atmospheric pollution. Said to be hardy to about -5°c, plants succeed outdoors in southern England, but are defoliated in severe winters. Plants at higher altitudes in its native range are often deciduous whilst plants from lower altitudes are evergreen but less hardy. A very variable and very ornamental species, the cultivars ‘Ghurka’ (deciduous) and ‘Jacqueline Postill’ (evergreen) are more hardy than the type. One report says that the cultivar ‘Ghurka’ is part of the deciduous sub-species D. bholua glacialis. (W.W.Smith.&Cave.)Burtt. and that it can tolerate temperatures down to about -10°c. The flowers are fragrant. Because it flowers in the winter, this species seldom produces much seed in Britain unless it is hand-pollinated. Plants often sucker and form clumps in the wild. Plants are resentful of root disturbance and should be planted into their permanent positions as soon as possible.
The juice of the roots, combined with molasses, is used in the treatment of fevers and intestinal problems. A decoction of the bark is used to treat fevers. The powdered seeds are anthelmintic.
A very good quality paper is made from the inner bark. It is one of the principle sources of hand made paper in Nepal. The fibre in the inner bark can be used to make rope.
Known Hazards : All parts of the plant are poisonous. Skin contact with the sap can cause dermatitis in some people.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.