Daphne. 1. A nymph beloved by Apollo and changed by him into the laurel (Greek daphne). 2. The seat of a temple of Apollo, with a grove of cypresses and laurels and a sanctuary, near Antioch in Syria. It was the scene of almost perpetual orgies of vice. 3. The name is applied in botany to the genus of shrubs belonging to the Thymelacae, or lace-bark tribe. They have a tough bast; hermaphrodite flowers, which are generally fragrant; a calyx of four united and often petaloid sepals; no corolla; eight epiphyllous stamens; and a drupaceous fruit. B. laureola, the spurge-laurel, is a dwarf evergreen, common on calcareous soils, with greenish flowers. Several other species are cultivated.