Cyclamen parviflorum

Description

Flowers appear in spring, in the wild from April to June as the snow melts, dependent on altitude, in shades of pink but with a distinct blue tinge, often (faintly) scented. The corolla lobes are reflexed in ssp parviflorum, held horizontally in ssp subalpinum, 5-15mm long, with slightly pointed tips, 90 degrees twist and a purple zone at the base, extending into the corolla mouth.

Leaves present all year as there is no real dormant period but new leaves appear in autumn, fully developed by flowering time, round (sometimes heart shaped in ssp subalpinum), with smooth margins, plain green with very occasional faint patterning, underside purplish, 15-35mm long, 15-35mm wide.

Tuber

Tuber a compressed sphere, small when fully grown, up to 2cm diameter, brown, smooth, with fine velvety hairs, branching thin (1mm) diameter roots arise from the centre of the underside.

Distribution

Cyclamen parviflorum grows in the Pontus Mountains, bordering the Black Sea in northeast Turkey.

Habitat

Cyclamen parviflorum grows in an area of plentiful snow, rainfall and mists from the humid air off the Black Sea, from 750-2400m, at lower elevations, ssp subalpinum, it is a plant of open woodland, coniferous, deciduous or mixed, as long as there is humus rich soil and at higher elevations, ssp parviflorum, it is a true alpine, found in the open in short turf.

Cultivation

Cyclamen parviflorum is frost hardy to very low temperatures but is seldom grown in the open garden in northwest Europe due to its small size. In the cold greenhouse, good drainage, regular watering and cool conditions, particularly in summer, seem to be the keys to success.