Looking lovely in the garden during the Christmas holiday season is a plant that hails from around the world, most notably Iran, and into the surrounding Caucuses. Despite this disparate climatic origin, Danae racemosa has thrived in much of the country as a pass-along plant for over a century.

Danae is one of many plants, now properly placed in the Asparagus family, along with Hosta, Agave, Polygonatum, Aspidistra, and of course, Asparagus. In the garden, it’s a fantastic evergreen woodland perennial, adorned with orange red fruit during the winter months.

Not only do gardeners love Danae, but it’s a choice foliage for flower arrangers, where it goes by the name, Poet’s Laurel. As you can imagine, a clump would be very helpful in making seasonal holiday decorations.

Poet’s laurel has long had a history in Greek and Roman culture to signify victory or great achievement. Wreaths or crowns of the woven stems of danae were often given to honor these achievement. When those honored, later retired, they were known to be resting on their laurels.

The reason it’s rarely offered by nurseries is the 5-7 year time required to fill a gallon pot from seed. It’s a great plant, but it’s just slow to produce economically. Hardiness is Zone 6b-8b, at least.

Danae racemosa

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