in praise of Cyclamen purpurascens

Mark McDonough
Fri, 23 Oct 2009 17:55:02 PDT
I'm always running out into the garden taking photos of things in flower, but one item that comes to mind week after week for many months, is Cyclamen purpurascens.  They awaken and start blooming midsummer, and just keep on coming.  Here it is nearly November, still lots of flowers and more buds coming.

For years all I had were plain green leaved forms, but a few years back I received some really nice silver and mottled leaf forms, and they are just fantastic.  They are strongly seeding around too, couldn't be happier about that.

My plants are growing under a large Magnolia 'Forrest Pink' tree, much of which was destroyed in the ice storm of December 2008.  Receiving more sun this year than previously due to lack of upper story tree foliage left the cyclamen more exposed to sun and dryness, but they survived and prospered just fine.

I'm posting a few photos, taken very recently.  You will also notice a small Japanese variegated Viola species or cultivar, can't remember off-hand what its name is, but find the flat mounds of silver and green foliage and charming pink flowers in spring to be a nice co-inhabitant.………………

Senaca Hills Nursery has these fine silver-leaf cyclamen forms, in particular, check out the "extra fancy" sorts... gorgeous.…

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, near the New Hampshire border, USDA Zone 5

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