Cyclamen graecum outdoors

Jane McGary
Tue, 11 Oct 2011 10:52:39 PDT
Pamela Harlow  wrote:
>Cyclamen graecum outdoors in Portland!  Can you expand on this?  Do you have
>an unusually hardy strain?  I've always mollycoddled mine in my warmest
>(never freezes) greenhouse. I would grow much more of it if I could plant it
>in the garden.  (Seattle--zone 8)

Cyclamen graecum occurs in both Greece and Turkey and the forms from 
the Peloponnese are more attractive than those in Anatolia. I saw the 
Anatolian form right on the coast and don't know how far it gets into 
the mountains. I suspect the source of seed has an influence on how 
cold-hardy it is. Mine appear to be the Greek form, and I also have 
an old strain that went around under the name "Gaidurovryssi," which 
is more or less the name of a small Aegean island.

If you do try some in the garden, give it a gritty soil with perfect 
drainage, and remember that it's quite sun-tolerant, especially in 
the Pacific Northwest. My plants have regularly survived 20 degrees 
F. in full leaf. I have them all in full sun. It will also grow in 
quite small crevices or holes in limestone or tufa. It does not, 
however, need lime as long as its soil is reasonably fertile (I use 
soluble fertilizer). Also, I think it likes deep planting as it has 
quite a "neck" above the tuber, and it has evolved in areas regularly 
swept by fires; I have photos of fabulous blooming plants in 
completely bare terra rossa where everything had burned off just a 
couple of months earlier.

I wish more people, especially in California, knew about this 
beautiful species.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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