Cyclamen hederifolium

Plant of the month: September

cyclamen hederifolium

This dainty, long lasting, pink flowered Cyclamen is native to Southern Europe and South West Asia. It heralds the arrival of autumn in the British garden and is a good deal tougher than it looks. After flowering the marbled leaves offer interest throughout the winter.

It grows in partial to full shade on a wide range of soil types but benefits from a free draining soil with addition of leaf mould as a fertiliser. Its storage organ is commonly known as a corm, from which the genus derives its name (Kylos – Greek for corm), but in Cyclamen it is actually a swollen hypocotyl.

The plants remain dormant through the summer months and can live up to 100 years. The seeds develop on the flowering stem and as they ripen the stem coils down, like a spring, towards the ground enabling ants to reach the seed to disperse them in return for their sticky seed coating!