Cyclamen repandum

Description

Flowers appear in spring, in the wild from March to May, reddish pink with a darker reddish purple nose, fragrant with a sweet scent. The corolla lobes are reflexed, 15-25mm long, 5-10mm wide, (var baborense, 20-30mm long, 7-11mm wide), with pointed tips, generally 180 degrees twist, no auricles at the base.

Leaves appear in early spring, full grown by flowering time, thin blade, heart shaped to triangular, edges faintly lobed with slightly scalloped margins, dark green background with a pale green or grey-green jagged zone or patches around a dark green central triangular area, underside pale green or purplish, 2-15cm long, 1.5-15cm wide.

Tuber

Tuber a compressed sphere, medium sized at maturity, up to 7cm diameter, brown, smooth, with fine velvety hairs, becoming rough with age, branching thin (0.5mm) diameter roots arise from the centre of the underside.

Distribution

Cyclamen repandum var repandum grows in Italy, the coastal regions of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Balkans, the Maures Massif of southern France and on the islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily. C. repandum var baborense grows in the Petite Kabylie mountains of northeast Algeria.

Habitat

Cyclamen repandum var repandum grows in moist areas with copious winter rainfall, in shady places from sea level to about 1300m, in deciduous and evergreen woods and in scrub or shady spots in rocky terrain. C. repandum var baborense also grows in an area of very moist Mediterranean climate, with winter rainfall of 80-200cm a year, from 400-1800m, in deciduous oak forests.

Cultivation

Cyclamen repandum is a woodland plant with thin leaves, easily damaged by strong wind or overnight frost, weakening the plant, and strongly dislikes drying out but when planted deeply, 10-15cm, in a sheltered and damp (not wet) situation, it can naturalise in milder parts of northwest Europe. In colder climates it grows well as a pot plant in a cold greenhouse. No cultivars have been named but a white flowered plant, forma album, occurs quite widely on Corsica and is found less frequently elsewhere. Leaves with brighter patterning, including an all over silver wash, have also been found recently.