Cyclamen Society Field Study: Kythira & Peloponnessos, Greece 1997

Following extensive research into C. creticum, from three successive expeditions to
Crete and Karpathos (1994-96), the Research and Exploration Sub-Committee
decided that it would be logical to see if C. creticum or C. rhodium 
ssp. peloponnesiacum could be found on Kythira, the principle
land mass between the Peloponnese and Crete.

The following extract from the Flora of Kithira by
Dr Yiannitsaros was also a persuasive factor.

‘Between the flora of Kithira and the flora of the
neighbouring Peloponnese and the island of Crete
exists a close relation. So the flora of Kithira is a link
between these two areas’.

After a week of exhaustive searching with no examples of
C. creticum or C. rhodium ssp. peloponnesiacum been found
(C. graecum and C. hederifolium had been encountered
in large numbers), it was considered that the Society’s
resources would be better utilised by going to the Peloponnese,
and continuing studies of C. rhodium ssp. peloponnesiacum.

During this second phase studies took place at Petrina, Spartia, Artemissia
(between Sparta and Kalamata), Saïdona and between Karavouni and Milia.
A single plant was also found by the road from Aeropoli to Githio thus extending
the easterly and southerly range of the species at that time.

Subsequently C. rhodium sp. was found to be present on Kythira by Vic and Janet Aspland whilst
on a personal visit to the island in 2009, although at the time it was not possible to confirm the subspecies.

A report of this field study was published in the
Cyclamen Society Journal Vol. 21 No. 2, December 1997.

Abridged field notes referenced by site number follow this table.
Giving brief locational information and habitat data which may aid cultivation.

CSE Plants Kythira and Peloponnessos, Greece 1997.

If plant images are available they may be viewed by clicking on the purple CSE plant number.

CSE Plant No.Site No.SpeciesSubspeciesDescription
CSE97005G97/04GC. graecumPlain silver leaf. Similar to plants seen at Monemvassia & Githio.
CSE97006G97/04GC. graecumSilver leaved plant, more rounded leaf.
CSE97007G97/04GC. graecumSmall leaf with silver centre, with thin green margin.
CSE97008G97/05GC. hederifoliumRepresentative of site.
CSE97009G97/05GC. hederifoliumRepresentative of site.
CSE97010G97/05GC. hederifoliumRepresentative of site.
CSE97011G97/06GC. hederifoliumOverlapping lobes.
CSE97012G97/06GC. hederifoliumBright centre.
CSE97013G97/06GC. hederifoliumBright centre.
CSE97066G97/07GC. rhodiumpeloponnesiacumDark flowers.
CSE97067G97/07GC. rhodiumpeloponnesiacumDentate plain green leaves.
CSE97068G97/07GC. rhodiumpeloponnesiacumSilver line to centre of leaf.
CSE97069G97/08GC. rhodiumpeloponnesiacumWhite flowers, pale nose, pale green leaves.
CSE97121G97/10GC. rhodiumpeloponnesiacumLarge calyx preventing petals from reflexing.
CSE97122G97/07GC. rhodiumpeloponnesiacumWhite petals, very pale pink nose.
CSE97123G97/07GC. rhodiumpeloponnesiacumDark flower with good leaf.
CSE97174G97/12GC. rhodiumpeloponnesiacumGood speckled leaf.
CSE97175G97/12GC. rhodiumpeloponnesiacumGood speckled leaf, smaller but attractive flower shape.

CSE Sites Kythira and Peloponnessos, Greece 1997

If site images are available they may be viewed by clicking on the purple site number.



12/04/97 Southern part of island. North of Livadi village.
Shade: 10-20%; Aspect varied, but always in shade; Slope: Varied from flat to vertical face of walls. Soil: Loam amongst limestone outcrops. Cyclamen growing in and at base of stone walls and under shade of various shrubs. Plants rarely in open.
Cyclamen graecum & C. hederifolium growing with: Oxalis pes-caprae, Geranium tuberosum, Muscari comosum, Muscari neglectum, Allium neopolitanum, Smilax aspera, Narcissus tazetta, Orchis italica, Orchis papilionacea, Ophrys lutea, Ophrys scolopax, Gladiolus italicus, Asphodelus aestivus, Tragopogon porrifolius, Chrysanthemum segetum, Anagalis arvensis, Lavatera arborea.


13/04/97 Northern part of island. Near church of Agia Anastasia, north of Potamos.
Shade: Open to 100%; Aspect: On all sides of slope; Slope: Variable – level to almost vertical; Soil: Good loam. Cyclamen hederifolium growing in large numbers in cultivated land which supported a good range of plants.
Cyclamen graecum & C. hederifolium growing with: Iris germanica, Erica arborea, Helianthemum sp., Muscari comosum, Borago officianili, grasses, Hedera sp., Quercus macrolepsis.Many C. hederifolium, few C. graecum.


13/04/97 Eastern side of island. Near airport to the north of Frilingianika.
Soil: Mixed loam amongst limestone outcrops. Rough open moorland, very open windy location, but hot and exposed.
Cyclamen graecum growing with: Tulipa orphanidea, Cistus salvifolius, Muscari neglectum, Anenome coronaria, Bellevalia trifoliata


13/04/97 Kapsali, at south end of island near Kythira Town.
Shade: 0%; Aspect: West; Slope: Relatively flat; Soil: Terra Rossa. Open short scrub, probably very windy.
Cyclamen graecum growing with: Gynandriris sisyrinchium, Ornithogalum sp., Chrysanthemum sagetum, Rosmarinus officinalis, Salvia pomifera.


14/04/97 South end of island. Near Livadi.
Altitude: 30m. Shade: 0-90%; Aspect: All aspects; Slope: flat to 50%; Soil: Terra Rossa. Cyclamen growing under mature Quercus coccifera and Pistacia lentiscus, growing predominantly at edge of wood. There were two wells and a dry culvert on the site, although it seemed as though it was moist. Plants growing in large numbers, one plant had at least 34 seed pods. The plants would generally be regarded as large and unattractive.
Cyclamen hederifolium growing with: Orchis italica, Ophrys sp., Ranunculus ficaria, grasses, Cistus parviflora.


16/04/97 Near Agia Vavara. Kako Lagadi Gorge.
Soil: Good loam. Excellent growing conditions for Cyclamen hederifolium in fertile soil. First part of gorge clearly used for crop growing on small terraces, over a number of years. Expected to be a positive location for Cyclamen rhodium group but none found – carried on down gorge until we came up against an impenetrable thicket of Nerium oleaner.



19/04/97 Near the Githeo to Sparta road.
Shade: 10-100%; Aspect: North; Slope: Variable, level to vertical; Soil: Terra Rossa. Olive groves under mature woodland. Fertile land with good mixture of lush plants.
Cyclamen graecum, C. hederifolium & C. rhodium ssp. peloponnesiacum growing with: Quercus coccifera, Quercus microlepsis, Acer campestri, Erica arborea, Cistus sp., Rubus sp., Fritillaria messenensis, Allium subhirsuitum, Anenome coronaria, Styrax, grasses, Iris unguicularis, Arisarum vulgaris, Ophrys so., Ranunculus sp., Viscaria sp. Genista sp.


19/04/97 Near Metilita, to the west of the Githio to Sparta Road.
Altitude: 350m. Shade: 0%; Aspect: West; Slope: Almost vertical; Soil: Terra Rossa. Roadside ditch. Probably quite dry in summer, but tubers in terra rossa under a small amount of humus.
Cyclamen rhodium ssp. peloponnesiacum growing with: Grasses, Anenome coronaria, Viscia sp., Rubus sp.,


20/04/97 Near Artemissia on the Sparti to Kalamata road.
Altitude: 750m. Shade: 50%; Aspect: Gulley running north-south; Slope: Flat to Vertical in gulley under road; Soil: Loam. Growing under Platanus orientalis.
Cyclamen hederifolium & C. rhodium ssp. peloponnesiacum growing with: Hedera, Clematis cirrhosa, Iris unguicularis, Saxifraga graeca, Arum italicum, Muscari neglectum, Anenome coronaria.


21/04/97 West side of Taigetos, southeast of Kardamili.
Altitude: 50m. Cyclamen growing under Quercus coccifera.
Cyclamen hederifolium & rhodium ssp. peloponnesiacum growing with: Gagea graeca, Saxifraga graeca, Iris unguicularis, Orchis papilionacea, Orchis quadripunctata.


21/04/97 West side of Taigetos, east of Kardamili.
Aspect: North; Slope: almost vertical; Soil: loam. Growing in side of bank. Open face under deciduous trees by road cutting. Also on other side of road in open woodland.
Cyclamen rhodium ssp. peloponnesiacum growing with: Rubus sp., Geranium robertianum, Ornithogalum sp., Anenome coronaria, Quercus coccifera, Cistus, Anacamptis sp.


22/04/98 On the road from Kardamili to Petrovouni.
Altitude: 225m. Shade: 50-90%; Aspect: North; Slope: Flat to vertical; Soil: Limestone, brown loam rich in humus. Protected north side of 4 metre high bank in a grove of mixed citrus, olive and almond.
Cyclamen graecum & C. rhodium ssp. peloponnesiacum growing with: Oxalis pes-capae, Scilla messanensis, Muscari comosum, grasses, Hedera sp., Campanula rupestris, Onosma graeca, Anchusa sp., Phlomis fruticosa, Salvia sp., Geranium robertianum, Anagalis sp., Viscia sp., Quercus coccifera, Styrax sp.


23/04/97 On the road from Kardamili to Areopoli.
Altitude: 10m. Shade: 90%; Aspect: North; Slope: 10-90%; Soil: Terra Rossa. Gorge running east-west at side of old river bed.
Cyclamen graecum, C. hederifolium & C. rhodium ssp. peloponnesiacum growing with: Briza maxima, Salvia sp., Muscari comosum, Euphorbia characas, Tragopogon sp., Malva sp., Papaver rhoeas, Phlomis fruticosa, Iris unguicularis, Campanula rupestris.


23/04/97 Road between Areopolis and Githio, near Chosiari.
Shade: 80%; Soil: Loam and very deep leafmould. Steep roadside bank, under Platanus orientalis in deep leaf litter.
Cyclamen rhodium ssp. peloponnesiacum growing with: Allium subhirsutum.