Cyclamen hederifolium is a species of flowering plant that derives from the genus Cyclamen, which comes from the family Primulaceae. It is one of the most prevalent cyclamen species in existence and is one of the most widely cultivated species after the florist’s cyclamen.
This plant is an ideal option for those looking for something hardy in style and for a shrub that is able to thrive in oceanic climates. It is native to the
Mediterranean region and is able to grow in shrubland, woodland, and rocky areas, from southern France to western Turkey. They are naturalized further north in Europe and in the Pacific Northwest.
More about Cyclamen hederifolium in gardens
Cyclamen hederifolium is one of the most popular species of plant to be grown in gardens. It is very similar to the plant species C. confusum and C. africanum. It blooms in the autumn months and grows wild from August to October.
However, its growth pattern is dependent on how much it rains. Flowers are extremely pretty in style and come in cutesy shades of rose pink. Pure white forms are also available and many of the blooms offer a sweet scent.
The corolla lobes are reflexed and measure a length of 15-23 mm and have a width of 7-10 mm. They feature pointed or rounded tips, with a 90-180 degree twist, protuberant auricles at the base and a deeper, purple, reddish U or V shaped zone at the tip of the flower.
Leaves tend to appear during flowering. The leaves come in a number of shapes and forms, the most traditional being heart shaped or even spear head shaped. Some have angular lobes with toothed edges and a pale green pattern, embellished with silver or grey.
The underside of these showy fleshy leaves are usually purple or green and measure 3 cm to 15 cm in length and are between 2 cm and 13 cm wide.
Cyclamen hederifolium is one of the most popular plant species in the wild, growing in Italy, southern France, southern Switzerland, Greece, most of the Balkans, west and south western Turkey and on many of the Mediterranean islands, including the likes of Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, Crete and the Aegean islands.
Cyclamen hederifolium is an extremely hardy shrub, which is able to tolerate very low temperatures and is deemed suitable for northwest European gardens as a result, where it is widely grown.
There are plenty of cultivars to choose from, which vary in hue, pattern and leaf shape. The leaves are unique in style and often boast patterning in the shape of purple or pink suffusions, which sit on the upper surface of the leaf.
There is a species to suit all tastes and it’s a great option for those wishing to add interest to an otherwise simple garden area.
How to grow
In order to grow cyclamen hederifolium, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps, as detailed below.
Cultivation: For best results, create a hole in the ground measuring 5cm in depth. It is important to use well-drained, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil. If the leaves begin to wither, avoid mulch and excessive summer moisture.
Propagation: Sow seeds in darkness as soon as they are ripe. Prior to sowing, it is a good idea to soak the seeds for a good ten hours before propagating them.
Planting locations and garden types: These plants are suitable for containers on the patio or for being planted in the garden. They’re also an especially good option for rock gardens. For best results, grow this specie of plant in partial shade.
Mulch annually using well-rotted leaf mould, as this prevents the tubers from drying out in the summer months, and also from the winter cold. Try to choose a spot in your garden or home that boasts dappled shade, full shade, or partial shade.
Soil types: You can use an abundance of soils, including chalky, acidic, alkaline, clay, well-drained, sandy, light and moist variants – this is one of the reasons that cyclamen hederifolium is a popular choice as they’re extremely versatile when it comes to choosing a location.
Points to note: This plant can be harmful to cats and dogs, so it is therefore wise you place the shrub in a place that pets can’t reach. There is no reported toxicity to other animals, such as horses, birds or livestock, and it is also safe for people to touch.
Caring for Cyclamen hederifolium
In order to keep yourcyclamen hederifolium looking fresh, they’ll require a minimum degree of care and attention.
Pruning: These are a great plant to choose if you’re looking for something maintenance-free, as no pruning is required.
Pests: Squirrels and mice are sometimes a problem for Cyclamen hederifolium, whilst vine weevil can attack pot-grown plants.
Diseases: These plants are usually disease-free when grown outdoors.
This particular variant is a hardy specie that can be grown in various locations and tends to reach a height of between four and six feet tall. It blooms with pink or white tinged flowers, which are around two inches in length and feature a darker eye with reflexed petals.
It flowers abundantly in late summer to spring, boasting one flower per stem. It is popular due to its extremely attractive, ivy-shaped, spotted leaves, which come in a range of shades and feature numerous patterns.
The flower stalks characteristically rise up in late summer, closely followed by the foliage which lasts throughout the winter months before going dormant in late spring.
The genus name comes from the Greek word kylos, which means ‘circle’ and refers to the rounded tubers.
It is a great option for those looking for a small, autumn bloomer that will slot neatly into partially shaded areas of rock gardens. It is also an effective plant to use en masse in woodland gardens, in front of shrubs or around trees.
It can be overplanted in summer alongside annuals in order to fully appreciate the blooms throughout autumn and beyond.
Sources: cyclamen.org, rhs.org.uk