Cyclamen

Cyclamen is a genus in the subfamily Myrsinoideae of the Primulaceae family. There are about 20 species from central and southern Europe, the Mediterranean region, western Asia and Somalia. Some flower in autumn before their leaves. Others flower throughout the year. Their flowers are white, pink or carmine with scented or unscented flowers and many of their leaves are beautifully marked. The references for this genus are books written by Christopher Grey-Wilson, 1997 and 2003, found listed in References. The Journal of the Cyclamen Society contains a wealth of information, including the latest reports from some of the nomenclatural battles in genus Cyclamen. For more information about this genus, consult The Cyclamen Society’s website. Nomenclature in genus Cyclamen is by no means settled, with the correct classification of Cyclamen repandum and its cousins still a matter of dispute.

All trade with Cyclamen is subject to CITES regulations.

To grow from seed, soak the seeds in luke-warm water for at least a few hours to overnight. To prevent damping off, seeds can be soaked in a 10% Clorox solution (bleach) overnight (Randy Holbert) or very dilute liquid seaweed (Erik van Lennep) to reduce pathogens, especially Fusarium and scarify the seeds. After soaking, the seeds should be sown individually in pots with a peat & perlite mix (Dennis Tsang) because they don't like repotting. Because light inhibits seed germination, cover the pots and keep them at about 16 °C (60 °F). Temperatures above 20 °C (68 °F) for a long period will inhibit germination. However, it should be noted that growers in Australia found that light does not inhibit germination. The seeds should germinate in 21 days, depending on the variety. Place the seedlings in bright indirect light for the first few weeks and transplant them after the first 3-4 true leaves. Good growing temperatures are between 10 °C (50 °F) at night and 21 °C (70 °F) during the day. Seedlings can be fertilized with an 18-8-18 formula, alternating with a calcium nitrate based fertilizer (Randy Holbert).

This anecdotage mostly coincides with research at Reading University sponsored by the Cyclamen Society, which resulted in the "Reading method" of germination.

The first of the photographs below by David Pilling of Cyclamen coum, shows the characteristic way stems coil to take the seed capsules down to ground level, where they are safer and the sweet seed coating may attract ants to take the seed underground. Note that in this state the seed is not necessarily ripe. The second photograph is of seed in the process of germinating, forming pink tubers (a 1 mm scale is shown). For more seed photos see Cyclamen hederifolium. Comparing these photos reveals C. coum spiraling anti-clockwise and C. hederifolium going clockwise.

Cyclamen coum seed pods, David PillingCyclamen coum seed germinating, David Pilling

Cyclamen tubers compares the tubers.


Photos below illustrate some of the leaves.

Cyclamen africanum leaves, Mary Sue IttnerCyclamen balearicum leaf, Mary Sue IttnerCyclamen cilicium, John LonsdaleCyclamen graecum ssp. anatolicum leaves, John LonsdaleCyclamen hederifolium, John LonsdaleCyclamen hederifolium var. poli, Angelo Porcelli
Cyclamen mirabile 'Tilebarn Nicholas', John LonsdaleCyclamen persicum, Mary Sue IttnerCyclamen pseudibericum leaf, John LonsdaleCyclamen purpurascens leaves, John LonsdaleCyclamen repandum leaves, Mary Sue IttnerCyclamen rohlfsianum, Dylan Hannon

For more information about and to see images of the species, a hybrid, and sometimes varieties, subspecies, and cultivars of these species click on the names in the table below or go to the species pages linked below.


Cyclamen hybrids and species
Cyclamen africanum, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen africanum
Cyclamen alpinum, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen alpinum
Cyclamen balearicum flower, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen balearicum
Cyclamen cilicium, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen cilicium
Cyclamen colchicum flower, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen colchicum
Cyclamen hederifolium var. confusum, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
*Cyclamen confusum
Cyclamen coum ssp. coum, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen coum
Cyclamen creticum, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen creticum
Cyclamen cyprium, Mark Smyth [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen cyprium
Cyclamen × drydeniae, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen × drydeniae
Cyclamen coum ssp. elegans, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
*Cyclamen elegans
Cyclamen purpurascens, Northern Italy, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
*Cyclamen europaeum
Cyclamen graecum, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen graecum
Cyclamen hederifolium, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen hederifolium
Cyclamen intaminatum, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen intaminatum
Cyclamen libanoticum, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen libanoticum
Cyclamen mirabile, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen mirabile
Cyclamen parviflorum, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen parviflorum
Cyclamen persicum, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen persicum
Cyclamen pseudibericum, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen pseudibericum
Cyclamen purpurascens, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen purpurascens
Cyclamen repandum, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen repandum
Cyclamen repandum ssp. rhodense, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
*Cyclamen rhodium
Cyclamen rohlfsianum, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
Cyclamen rohlfsianum
Cyclamen somalense Cyclamen alpinum, John Lonsdale [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
*Cyclamen trochopteranthum
* = synonym


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