Daphne is a genus of about 95 species of shrubs distributed from North Africa and Europe to northern India, and East and South East Asia. It belongs to tribe Daphneae of subfamily Thymelaeoideae of family Thymelaeaceae of order Malvales, and is one of a cluster of genera within Daphneae also including Daphnopsis, Goodallia, Funifera, Schoenobiblius, Ovidia, Dirca, Lagetta, Wikstroemia, Rhamnoneuron, Edgeworthia, Thymelaea, Diarthron and Stellara.
Daphne is divided into three (possibly more sections). J. J. Halda divides the genus into many more elements, but includes within the genus Wikstroemia and Rhamnoneuron.
Daphne section Daphnanthes has flowers in terminal heads and includes D. ×adamantina, D. albowiana, D. acutiloba, D. alpina, D. altaica, D. arbuscula, D. aurantiaca, D. bholua, D. blagayana, D. ×burkwoodii, D. caucasica, D. cneorum, D. collina, D. giraldii, D. gnidium, D. ×hybrida, D. juliae, D. longilobata, D. ×mantensiana, D. mauritanica, D. ×napolitana, D. odora, D. oleoides, D. papyracea, D. petraea, D. sericea, D. sophia, D. striata, D. tangutica (including D. retusa), D. taurica and D. ×thauma.
Daphne section Genkwa has axillary flowers and opposite, silky below, leaves and includes D. genkwa.
Daphne section Mezereum has axillary flowers and alternate glabrous leaves and includes D. glomerata, D. ×houtteana, D. jezoensis, D. kamtschatica, D. laureola, D. mezereum, D. pontica, D. pseudomezereum.
I do not as yet have sectional affiiliations for D. gnidioides, D. jasminea,D. kiusiana, D. kosaninii, D. mucronata, D. rodriguezii and D. sureil.
© 2006 Stewart Robert Hinsley