(Poet's Laurel)Danae (poet's laurel) is a monotypic (just one species) genus of small shrub-like plants native to western Asia that, based on the latest genetic studies, is related to Ruscus, Aspidistra, Rohdea and Liriope. The sole species, Danae racemosa, is a very slow growing (6-7 years from seed to sale) evergreen perennial plant that eventually reaches 2-3' tall and wide.
Danae is grown for its shiny green cladodes (structures that look like leaves but are actually flattened branches) which provide a lush, formal, evergreen structure in the garden. Gardeners grow danae for its extreme shade tolerance and shrub-like characteristics.
Poet's Laurel produces small white flowers followed by large, showy, orange berries in fall and winter which look great in the garden as well as in cut flower arrangements. Poet's Laurel is very easy-to-grow, drought-tolerant, and thrives in either sandy or clay soils...perfect under large trees.
Danae has a long history of symbolic use, representing praise for a victory or great acheivement. The laurel crown portrayed in ancient Greek and Roman sculptures and paintings was often made from danae. These ancient peoples harvested the flexible stems, wove them into circular or horseshoe-shaped wreaths and crowns and bestowed them upon scholars, Olympic victors, generals, kings, and offered them to their gods. If those heroes went on to spend the rest of their lives living off of their past glories, they were said to be "resting on their laurels". In medieval times, a poet or scholar who completed a bachelor's or master's degree was awarded a laurel crown and was referred to as a baccalaureate or laureate respectively. If you're looking to buy a poet's laurel for your woodland shade garden, we hope you will check out our danae plants for sale.