Many of us are familiar with cyclamen as a charming florist’s plant that brightens up the indoor environment during the gloomy winter months. What we may not realize, however, is that cyclamen, a cousin to the cheery little primrose, is actually native to the Mediterranean and surrounding areas. In the home garden, cyclamen is often grown in woodland settings, although many types of cyclamen plants thrive in Alpine meadows. The typical florist cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) is only one of many cyclamen plant types. In fact, there are more than 20 species within the genus. Read on for a small sampling of cyclamen plant types and cyclamen varieties.
Cyclamen Plant Types and Cyclamen Varieties
Cyclamen heredifolium, also known as ivy-leaved cyclamen, is a robust species that tolerates relatively cold winters. In the United States, it has naturalized in parts of the Pacific Northwest. This autumn-flowering species, popular and easy to grow in the home garden, blooms in shades of pink or white tinged with pink. Grow C. heredifolium in zones 5 through 7. Cyclamen varieties within this species include:
- ‘Nettleton Silver’
- ‘Pewter White’
- ‘Silver Arrow’
- ‘Silver Cloud’
- ‘Bowle’s Apollo’
- ‘White Cloud’
Cyclamen coum sports quarter-sized green or patterned, rounded, or heart-shaped leaves that typically appear in autumn. Small, bright flowers poke up through the foliage in midwinter. This species is hardy to USDA zones 6 and above. Varieties of C. coum include several cultivars within the ‘Pewter Leaf’ group as well as the following:
- ‘Maurice Dryden’
- ‘Something Magic’
- ‘Silver Leaf’
Cyclamen graecum can be difficult to grow and often isn’t as vigorous as other varieties. However, this species is stunning, with velvety, deep green foliage in vivid colors and patterns. Tiny blooms, sometimes sweetly scented, rise just above the foliage in late summer and autumn. This tender variety is suitable for zones 7 through 9. Cyclamen plant varieties within the C. graecum species include ‘Glyfada’ and ‘Rhodopou.’ Cyclamen mirabile is a charming fall bloomer that produces dainty little flowers and decorative, silver dollar-sized leaves in patterns of green and silver. This species grows in zones 6 through 8. Varieties of C. mirabile include ‘Tilebarn Ann,’ ‘Tilebarn Nicholas,’ and ‘Tilebarn Jan.’
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A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.
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