Daphne

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Daphne

(dăf`nē), in Greek mythology, a nymph. She was loved by Apollo and by Leucippus, a mortal who disguised himself as a nymph to be near her. When Leucippus betrayed his sex while bathing, the nymphs tore him to pieces. Apollo then pursued Daphne, who prayed to Gaea for aid and was changed into a laurel tree.

daphne,

common name for, and genus name of, certain low deciduous or evergreen shrubs native to Eurasia. In the United States several naturalized species are cultivated for their handsome foliage and fragrant flowers, e.g., D. mezereum and D. laureola, commonly called spurge-laurel and olive-spurge respectively but unrelated to the true spurge or laurel. The dried bark of D. mezereum was used medicinally, but the plant is poisonous. D. genkwa has been used in China as an effective abortifacient. Daphnes are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Myrtales, family Thymelaeaceae.

Daphne

 

a genus of plants of the family Thymeleaceae. There are about 80 species, growing mainly in the temperate belt of Europe and Asia. In the USSR there are more than 15 species. All of them are small shrubs with few branches. The flowers are white, rose, or yellow, with four petals grown together at the base in the shape of a tube that are similar in appearance to lilac flowers. The species most widely occurring in the USSR is the spurge olive, or dwarf bay. The rose daphne grows in Poles’e, and the closely related Julian daphne grows on the cretaceous slopes of the Central Russian uplands.


Daphne

 

in Greek mythology, a nymph. Pursued by Apollo, who was enamored of her. Daphne begged her father—the river god Peneus—for help, and he turned her into a laurel tree (Greek, dáphnè—laurel). The myth of Daphne has served as a subject in poetry (Metamorphoses of Ovid), painting, and sculpture (N. Poussin and G. L. Bernini, among others).

Daphne

Apollo’s attempted rape represents dawn fleeing daylight. [Gk. Myth.: Parrinder, 72; Jobes, 414]
See: Dawn

daphne

traditional symbol of fame. [Plant Symbolism: Jobes, 414]
See: Fame

Daphne

turned into laurel tree to escape Apollo. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 75]