Cyclamen in the midwest

Jane McGary
Mon, 30 Jul 2012 16:15:27 PDT
Peter wrote
>Cyclamen graecum usually, but not always, dies if the tuber freezes. It is
>a crevice plant with a tap root and can be grown in rocks or under some
>inches of gravel.

Actually the tuber of C. graecum doesn't have a "tap root." It has 
quite a few stout perennial roots emerging from the bottom of the 
tuber, and a kind of "neck" coming from the top, from the end of 
which the leaves and flowers grow. I should know -- I just unpotted 
and planted out 7 or 8 of them that were as much as 15 years old from 
seed, and they are huge. As Peter suggests, mine will be under a 
couple of inches of gritty soil and about 2 inches of gravel, among 
chunks of tufa as they often grow in the wild (I can't provide terra 
rossa soil, though). I put a lot of C. mirabile in the same bed; it 
is a smaller, less showy species but has lovely foliage.

I just cleaned quite a bit of C. graecum seed and will send it to the 
BX. I hope it mostly goes to California, where it ought to be grown 
much more widely.

Rodger wrote that C. hederifolium should be planted just under 
deciduous trees, and it does grow well in that kind of site, but it 
also grows well here in the Northwest under conifers (and in lawns!). 
I often recommend it for difficult dry sites under trees or shrubs 
where little else will thrive. In nature I have seen it a lot under 
pines and evergreen oaks, hollies, etc. The only problem is that you 
have a bare space for a couple of months in summer.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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