Nepalese Paper Plant Daphne bholua var. glacialis 'Gurkha'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
daphne 'Gurkha'


The Daphne bholua var. glacialis 'Gurkha', widely known simply as 'Gurkha', is an elegantly structured plant characterized by a dense, upright, and bushy growth habit. The leaves of 'Gurkha' are glossy and lance-shaped, presenting a dark green color that provides a lush backdrop for its prominent flowers. These blossoms, which typically bloom from late winter to early spring, boast an exquisite fragrance and are bell-shaped, appearing in tight clusters along the stems. The flowers of 'Gurkha' can range from shades of white to a soft pink, with some displaying a darker pink or purplish hue on the outside, creating a pleasing two-tone effect. Following the floral display, the plant may produce spherical fruits, which start green and mature to a fleshy red or blackish-purple depending on the maturity. Cultivation of 'Gurkha' is appreciated for its elegant appearance and the aromatic quality of its flowers, which can infuse surrounding spaces with a sweet and inviting scent. This makes the 'Gurkha' a favorite for gardens where sensory experiences are celebrated.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Gurkha Sweet Daphne, Himalayan Daphne

    • Common names

      Daphne bholua var. glacialis 'Gurkha'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant known as Daphne is toxic to humans. All parts of Daphne, including the berries, bark, and leaves, contain toxic substances. If ingested, it can cause symptoms such as burning sensations in the mouth, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headache. In severe cases, Daphne poisoning can lead to convulsions, coma, and even death from respiratory failure or cardiac arrest. Therefore, caution is advised when handling or being in the presence of this plant, especially around children, who might be tempted by the berries.

    • To pets

      Daphne is also toxic to pets. Like in humans, all parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested, with the toxins capable of affecting a pet's health severely. The symptoms of poisoning in pets can include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, seizures, and, potentially, coma or death. It is crucial for pet owners to ensure their pets do not have access to any part of the Daphne plant to avoid accidental ingestion and subsequent poisoning. If you suspect your pet has ingested Daphne, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 feet (1.83 meters)

    • Spread

      4 feet (1.22 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Daphne bholua 'Gurkha' is appreciated for its ornamental characteristics, including its beautiful flowers and overall plant form which can enhance the aesthetic of garden spaces.
    • Fragrant Flowers: It produces highly fragrant flowers that can add a pleasant scent to the area where it is planted, often enjoyed in winter to early spring when few other plants are in bloom.
    • Attracts Wildlife: The plant can attract pollinators such as bees, which can benefit the overall health of the garden and surrounding ecosystem.
    • Year-Round Interest: With evergreen foliage, Daphne bholua 'Gurkha' provides visual interest throughout the year, contributing to a diverse and attractive garden landscape.
    • Compact Size: It has a relatively compact growth habit, making it suitable for smaller gardens or spaces where a larger shrub would be inappropriate.
    • Seasonal Color: The shrub produces pink to white flowers which can add much-needed color to gardens during the cooler months.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Daphne bholua is sometimes used in perfumery, thanks to its sweet and powerful scent that can be extracted from the flowers.
    • The plant can be incorporated into aromatic sachets and potpourris to impart fragrance in wardrobes and drawers.
    • Florists may use the cut flowers of Daphne bholua in floral arrangements due to their attractive blooms and fragrance.
    • Kept near entrances or walkways, the plant acts as a natural air freshener, welcoming guests with its delightful scent.
    • Gardeners sometimes use the plant as a border shrub to create structured landscape designs and visual interest throughout the year.
    • It can be planted to provide shelter to beneficial insects and small wildlife, which find refuge in its dense foliage.
    • Daphne bholua's dense growth habit can be used for privacy screening in residential gardens.
    • In some cultures, the flowers may be used for ceremonial purposes or included in floral tributes.
    • The plant's branches can be shaped into living sculptures or topiaries, showcasing the gardener's artistry.
    • Its evergreen leaves can be used as a dark green backdrop in photography, especially during winter when many plants lose their leaves.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Daphne is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Daphne is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Immortality: Daphne plants in mythology are associated with nymph Daphne, who was turned into a laurel bush, representing eternal life.
    • Glory and Fame: Due to the link with the laurel (Daphne), crowns were made from its leaves to honor poets and heroes, symbolizing accolades.
    • Purity: The delicate, white flowers of the Daphne signify innocence and chastity.
    • Love and Attraction: The intoxicating fragrance of the Daphne blooms is often associated with inducing love and seducing the senses.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late winter to early spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Himalayan daphne should be watered thoroughly, ensuring that the soil is moist but not waterlogged. It's important to water the plant with about 1 to 1.5 gallons every week during its growing season in spring and summer, reducing frequency to every two to three weeks in the fall and winter months when the plant is dormant. When watering, do so at the base of the plant, avoiding wetting the foliage to prevent disease. Never allow the soil to dry out completely, as Himalayan daphne prefers consistently moist soil conditions.

  • sunLight

    Himalayan daphne thrives in partial shade to full sun conditions. The ideal spot for this plant is where it can receive morning sunlight and afternoon shade, or dappled sunlight throughout the day. Avoid placing it in deep shade or in locations that receive intense midday sun, which can be too harsh for the plant.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Himalayan daphne prefers cooler climates and can tolerate temperatures down to about 10°F, but may suffer damage below this point. The ideal growing temperature range is between 60°F and 75°F. They can handle short periods of higher temperatures, but prolonged heat and humidity can stress the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Himalayan daphne benefits from light pruning to maintain its shape and remove any dead or diseased branches. It should be pruned after it finishes flowering, typically in late spring or early summer. Avoid heavy pruning, as the plant does not respond well to harsh cuts. Removing spent flowers can encourage a secondary bloom.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Himalayan Daphne requires well-draining soil with ample organic material. A good mix can be made from equal parts peat, loam, and perlite or sand, ensuring good drainage and aeration. The ideal pH for the soil should range between 6.0 to 7.5.

  • plantRepotting

    Himalayan Daphne should be repotted every 2 to 3 years as they are slow growers. When repotting, careful handling is necessary to avoid damaging the sensitive roots.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Himalayan Daphne thrives in moderate to high humidity levels, ideally around 50-60%. They should be protected from extremely dry air but don't require tropical levels of humidity.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Himalayan Daphne in bright, indirect light inside.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Himalayan Daphne in partial shade outside.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    'Gurkha' Sweet Box, after germination from seed or rooting from cuttings, starts its life as a seedling, developing a root system and a set of juvenile leaves. In the vegetative stage, it grows into a small shrub, forming a woody stem and a foliage of leathery leaves, and continues to increase in size and spread. Once mature, which can vary from a few years after planting, it enters the reproductive stage, usually during late winter to early spring, producing fragrant flowers that can be pink or white. After pollination, typically by insects, the flowers develop into small fleshy fruit, which mature over several months. The seeds within these fruits are then dispersed, potentially by birds or mammals that eat the fruit, completing the cycle as they germinate to produce new plants. In appropriate growing conditions, 'Gurkha' Sweet Box can live for many years, going through the flowering and fruiting cycle annually.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late winter to early spring

    • Daphne bholua var. glacialis 'Gurkha', commonly known as Himalayan Daphne, is most successfully propagated through semi-hardwood stem cuttings. The ideal time to take cuttings is during the late summer when the current season's growth has begun to mature but isn't fully hardened. To propagate by cuttings, a 4 to 6 inch (10 to 15 centimeters) section of stem with several leaves is snipped just below a node. The lower leaves are removed, and the cut end is dipped into rooting hormone powder to encourage root development. The prepared cutting is then inserted into a pot filled with a mixture of perlite and peat moss or a similar well-draining rooting medium. The pot should be placed in a warm, bright location but out of direct sunlight and kept consistently moist. Roots typically form within several weeks to months, after which the new Himalayan Daphne plants can be gradually acclimated to outside conditions and eventually transplanted to a more permanent location in the garden.