Daphne bholua

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                           Daphne bholua Buchanan-Hamilton ex D. Don, Prodr. Fl. Nepal. 68. 1825.

Nomenclature and Taxonomy

Daphne bholua is known as Nepalese paper plant in English while locally called as Setabaduwa, Syugubaduwa, Syugu mhendo, Syu syu (Gurung), Logoto (Magar), Baruwa, Kagatpate, Setaberu, Lokata (Nepali), Tayan ki puswan (Newari), Syu (Sherpa), Dhyasin, Sonsodhogbe (Tamang), Chu-chu, Syugu dhangabu (Tibetan) in different languages of Nepal. [1] It belongs to family Thymelaeaceae and it has two varieties Daphne bholua var. bholua and Daphne bholua var. glacialis. [2]

Plant Description

Daphne bholua is an evergreen or a deciduous shrub, creeping or erect, 1-2.6 (-4) m tall. Branches are brownish, becoming dark brown suffused with purple, sparsely hirsute, soon glabrescent. Leaves are alternate, clustered at stem apex; with petiole 1-5 mm. Leaf blade is dull dark green, narrowly elliptic or oblong-lanceolate, (3.5-)5-17 × (1-)1.7-3.2 cm, thinly leathery, both surfaces glabrous, base broadly cuneate, margin sometimes slightly revolute and/or undulate, apex acute, rarely acuminate or obtuse; veins 6-16 pairs. Inflorescences are terminal or axillary, (5-)7-12(-15)-flowered; peduncle almost absent; with bracts paired, caducous, broadly lanceolate or oblong-ovate, 14-18 × ca. 4 mm, sericeous, apex caudate. Flowers are fragrant; pedicel absent or to 4 mm, articulate, densely sericeous. Calyx is purplish red or red at least abaxially; with tube cylindric, 7-10(-12) mm, exterior densely sericeous; lobes are 4, ovate, 5-7 × 3-5 mm, abaxially pubescent, with apex slightly retuse to subacute. Stamens 8, lower whorl inserted above middle of calyx tube, upper whorl reaching mouth; filaments ca. 0.5 mm; anthers ca. 2 mm. Disk cupular, ca. 1 mm wide, margin entire. Ovary is cylindric-pyrare iform, ca. 4 mm, glabrous, shortly stipitate; with style of ca. 0.5 mm; with stigma capitate. Drupe is black, ovoid, 7-8 × ca. 5 mm. [2]

Ecology and Distribution

Daphne bholua is distributed in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal in the forests at 1700 - 3500 m. [2] In Nepal, it is found throughout the country at 1000 - 3200 m in moist, shady places under trees. [1]

Phenology and Reproduction

Daphne bholua flowoers in January to March and fruits in April to May. [2] It propagates by seeds. [1]

Economic Value

Daphne bholua is economically important for handmade Nepalese paper, medicine, and fibres. Its bark is used to make Nepalese paper and also rope for carrying loads. Squeezed bark and leaves are employed as a poison in fishing. Its root juice and bark decoction are applicable as medicine. [1]

Phytochemistry and Pharmacology

Root juice of Daphne bholua mixed with molasses is taken to cure fever. This mixture is used in intestinal troubles. A bark decoction is taken to treat fever. Its powdered seeds are taken as antihelmintic. [1]

Diseases and Pathogens


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Manandhar, N. P. (2002). Plants and People of Nepal. Portland, Oregon, USA: Timber Press. p. 188.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Wang, Y. Z., Gilbert, M. G., Mathew, B., & Brickell, C. D. (2007). DAPHNE Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 356. 1753. 瑞香属 rui xiang shu. In Flora of China Editorial Committee (Eds.), Flora of China VOlume 13 [PDF online], pp. 230 - 245. Retrieved from http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/PDF/PDF13/Daphne.pdf