Cyclamen graecum photos

Jane McGary
Sun, 03 Dec 2006 11:02:01 PST
I have added a few photos of Cyclamen graecum in the wild to the wiki. See 
the entry for this species
and Information/Cyclamen

to access the pictures. One shows what must be a very large tuber blooming 
in an area that was burned earlier this year. The "terra rossa" soil was 
completely bare of brush and other organic material, so obviously it was a 
very hot fire; the trees had mostly survived, though, and many bulbs and 
herb seedlings were emerging in response to the fall rains. Californians 
will be familiar with such scenes. Cyclamen graecum is particularly well 
adapted to fire because its tubers tend to grow deeper in the soil than 
those of other cyclamens, and a long "floral trunk" develops on top of the 
tuber, from which the flowers emerge. This species also grows in more open, 
sunny areas than, e.g., C. hederifolium, C. cilicium, and C. creticum. I 
saw many C. graecum growing in pockets of humus in holes in limestone 
formations, sometimes in close association with crocuses and sternbergias. 
I've been experimenting growing C. graecum outdoors for a couple of years 
in Oregon, and I think John Lonsdale also is trying it in Pennsylvania. So 
far, so good -- mine has survived 17 degrees F without snow cover, in a 
very well drained site.

Another of the photos shows one of the myriad unusual leaf forms to be seen 
in the Mani populations: a curled or "cochleate" (shell-like) form like 
some ornamental begonia leaves. I'd like to grow hundreds of these 
cyclamens for the foliage alone. It has a wonderful velvety appearance in 
the deep green parts, and the white is rather silvery. The patters are 
amazingly varied, and these southern Greek forms can have very large leaves 
and flowers; I believe some authorities think they may be polyploid. The C. 
graecum I saw in southwestern Turkey were much smaller, and the flowers had 
thinner substance and were pale pink.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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