Friday, March 30, 2007

Hardy Cyclamen (Cyclamen coum)

Hardy Cyclamen
Cyclamen coum
(SIGH-kla-men) (KOO-um)

This plant is unusual early spring bloomer. I like it because it will grow in places a lot of other plants won’t tolerate. I have a fairly large patch growing under my Dwarf Sugar Maple. Nothing else has tried to make it in that area. There is a smaller patch that I have growing in the River Birch Grove. The flowers emerge at same time the silver streaked round foliage does and the color ranges from deep pink to white. For consistent color try and find a named cultivar. It sometimes take awhile for the tubers to get going. As I remember I planted some and then didn’t see them for a year or two and I thought they had malfunctioned. Later I was happy to see a couple popping up and then a few more. I think I have found the key to their cultivation is having well drained soil. This plant falls into the Primrose family, Primulaceae. I am trying to learn more about the plant families and will try and reference them here more this year. The Primrose family has 28 genera of herbaceous flowering plants including some very familiar garden plants.