Cyclamen hederifolium

Cyclamen hederifolium

Cyclamens comprise of a group of very distinct species native to parts of Europe, western Asia and North Africa. C repandum, hederifolium, purpurascens and coum were certainly in western European gardens by the 17th century. By the early 1900s the majority of the species had been described.Sounds fairly straight forward. doesn’t it? Well actually..no the correct identification of species is a very challenging task. Certainly a work in progress for us.

Cyclamen can survive brief periods at temperatures below 0 degrees. Weather buffers of trees, shrubs, buildings, amount of moisture, sun, etc. can make a difference in successfully growing cyclamen in severe cold. It is good to keep in mind that winter is their growing season when they need light and moisture. Having said that, there are a number of species that survive quite well. These include hederifolium, coum, purpuracens, cilicium, pseudibericum and repandum. C.hederifolium and coum being the easiest to grow.

Cyclamen are ideally suited to growing in a shaded rockery or naturalised in the light shade of woodland borders. Planted in beds of their own they will create a colony of amazing color. Hardy cyclamen are one of the few flowering plants that will grow in the dry shade, one of the most challenging spots in any garden. Cyclamen roots are noncompetitive and can be planted among the roots of trees and large shrubs, both deciduous and evergreen. Trees and shrubs provide protective shade, buffers cold winter weather, and their roots absorb excess moisture improving drainage.

Sandy to clay soils are acceptable but should be well draining and loose with grit, compost or mulch. Wet and soggy soils with poor drainage will cause tubers to rot. Raised beds are proper if poor drainage can not be modified with the addition of mulch or compost. Fertilisers are not necessary but adding some blood and bone won’t hurt. A layer of compost or mulch applied over the dormant tubers in summer is all that may be needed to provide nourishment while also discouraging weeds. Mulch can also preserve and even out the supply of moisture.

Description and Background:
This species is native to woodland, scrub, and rocky areas in the Mediterranean region. The most widespread Cyclamen species it is found from southern France to western Turkey and Mediterranean islands. Growing in woodlands, scrub and rocky areas. It is the hardiest, most robust and easiest to grow. Hederifolium self seeds freely and if left undisturbed will naturalise. Tolerant of all average garden soils it can also grow in areas with more sun.

It produces deep to light pink blossoms in late spring. In cultivation white blossoms develop on some plants. Foliage lasts until late Summer and in a colony creates an almost evergreen ground cover. The foliage shape can vary widely from ivy-like, heart shaped, to spear like. Foliage color may be green with a symmetrical darker green or silver fractal pattern. Tubers of hederifolium increase in size and it is not uncommon to find older tubers the size of a small dinner plate. These larger and older tubers produce an amazing profusion of blooms. They are very long lived.

Var. confusum is from southern Sicily, the Peloponnese and Greek islands. Leaves are large, bright green and fleshy.

Availability:
Available from our nursery.

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January 23, 2018