Cyclamen Society Field Study: Sicily, Italy 2006

A field study to Sicily looking at C. hederifolium. For several years the Society has sponsored
research at the University of Reading, and one phase of this concerns C. hederifolium. 
To support this, previous field studies in Crete surveying the populations of C. hederifolium 
and Cconfusum, aiming to establish the morphological differences and whether there
is any interaction or if they remain distinct. This study to Sicily was the
first phase of a larger ongoing study.

15 plants were collected from ten of the 17 sites surveyed.

A report of the 2006 field study titled ‘You gotta love leaves!’ was
published in the Cyclamen Society Journal Vol. 30
No. 2, June 2006.

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

CSE Plants Sicily, Italy 2006.

Plant images may be viewed by clicking on the purple CSE plant number.

CSE Plant No.Site No.SpeciesDescription
0601106/02C. hederifoliumArrowhead leaf shape.
0602206/03C. hederifoliumArrowhead leaf shape.
0602306/04C. hederifoliumCollected for DNA analysis.
0603406/05C. hederifoliumArrowhead leaf shape.
0606506/09C. hederifoliumArrowhead leaf shape.
0606606/10C. hederifoliumArrowhead leaf shape with silver hastate centre and dark green outside.
0606706/10C. hederifoliumOrbicular leaf with dark centre and mottled silver margins.
0607906/11C. hederifoliumArrowhead leaf, silver with dark stripe.
0608006/11C. hederifoliumSilver leaf pattern.
0609106/12C. hederifoliumDark leaf with silver centre.
0611306/15C. hederifoliumGood leaf shape and darkish flower.
0611406/15C. hederifoliumMaple leaf shape.
0611506/15C. hederifoliumVery dark green leaf with silver centre.
0611606/15C. hederifoliumGood leaf shape and pattern with silver centre. Both flowers six petalled and of good size.
0612606/17C. hederifoliumCollected for DNA analysis.

CSE Sites in Sicily, Italy 2006

Site images may be viewed by clicking on the purple site number.

18/11/06. North side of Mount Etna, above Randazzo.
Altitude: 1163m., Shade: 50%, Aspect: North.
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Castanea sativa forest in gulleys between old lava flows. Growing Conditions: Badly trampled by livestock.

19/11/06. Nebrodi: In valley of the Fiume Flascio, on east side of Demanio delle Caronie park.
Altitude: 960m., Shade: 50%, Aspect: East-southeast, Slope: 5°, Soil: Brown loam, pH: 7.0 .
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Mixed Quercus and Juniperus woodland on side of river valley. Growing Conditions: Amongst rocks in Quercus leaf litter. Relatively dry.
Associated Plants: Quercus pubescens, Juniperus sp., Crocus sp., Arum sp., Ruscus aculeatus.

19/11/06. Nebrodi: Cesaro to San Fratello Road, south of Portella Miraglia.
Altitude: 1330m., Shade: 40%, Aspect: East-northeast, Slope: Flat, Soil: Brown loam, pH: 7.5.
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Light Quercus woodland at roadside. Growing Conditions: Quercus leaf litter with some grasses.
Associated Plants: Quercus sp., grasses.

20/11/06. Nebrodi: On road from Portella Femmina Morta to Monte Soro.
Altitude: 1610m., Shade: 30%, Aspect: Southwest, Slope: 20°, Soil: Brown loam high in humus content, pH: 5.7.
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Fagus trees at roadside, Cyclamen growing around base of trees and other shrubs in Fagus leaf litter. Growing conditions: Good moist conditions with robust plants.
Associated Plants: Fagus sylvatica, Trifolium sp., Rubus sp., grasses.

20/11/06. Nebrodi: On Dorsale dei Nebrodi, between Lago Maulazzo and Lago Biviere di Cesaro.
Altitude: 1343m., Shade: 30%, Aspect: Generally west but plants north facing, Slope: 5°, Soil: Almost 100% humus, pH: 5.5.
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Growing in mosses in tree roots.
Associated Plants: Fagus sylvatica, mosses., Rubus sp.

20/11/06. Nebrodi: On Dorsale dei Nebrodi, between Lago Maulazzo and Lago Biviere di Cesaro.
Altitude: 1338m., Shade: 20%, Aspect: East-northeast, Slope: 10°, Soil: Humic brown loam, pH: 6.6.
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Cyclamen growing around base of Holly tree. Growing Conditions: Very good moist conditions.
Associated Plants: llex aquifolium, grasses.

21/11/06. Monte Sambughetti.
Altitude: 1232m., Shade: 15%, Aspect: North-northwest, Slope: 45°, Soil: Clay loam, pH: 7.5.
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Bank on south side of road under mixed shrub layer. Growing Conditions: Very wet in soft open loam.
Associated Plants: llex aquifolium, Pinus sp., Acer sp., Pteridium aquilinum, Rubus sp., Hedera helix, mosses.

21/11/06. Monte Sambughetti.
Altitude: 1229m., Shade: 50%, Aspect: Northeast, Slope: 45°, Soil: Sandy clay loam, pH: 6.9.
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Quercus forest. Growing Conditions: Relatively dry, in Quercus leaf litter.
Associated Plants: Quercus (? pubescens), grasses, ferns, Rubus sp.

21/11/06. Monte Sambughetti.
Altitude: 1175m., Shade: 40%, Aspect: North, Slope: 45°, Soil, pH: 7.2.
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Vertical roadside bank below mixed woodland of Pinus and Castanea. Growing Conditions: Very wet, with tubers on surface.
Associated Plants: Pinus sp., Castanea sativa, Pteridium Aquilinum, Rubus sp., grasses.

22/11/06. Madonie: Between Piano Zucchi and Portella Colla.
Altitude: 1324m., Shade: 40-70%, Aspect: Northwest, Slope: 30°, Soil: Loose humic clay loam, pH: 7.4.
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Mixed woodland, almost bare ground except Cyclamen in shde of mature trees. Growing Conditions: Very wet, very humus-rich soil.
Associated Plants: llex aquifolium, Crataegus sp., Pinus sp., Quercus pubescens, Rubus sp.

22/11/06. Madonie: Between Portella Colla and Polizzi Generosa.
Altitude: 1058m., Shade: 30%, Aspect: Open, Slope: Flat, Soil: Dry clay-loam with limestone fragments, pH: 7.8.
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Sparse Pinus woodland. Growing Conditions: Under sparse Pinus in Pinus-needle litter over a dry clay loam with limestone pieces & fragments. Tubers generally under limestone pieces. Strong plants but no evidence of regeneration.
Associated Plants: Pinus sp., Asphodelus two sp. , annuals, grasses.

22/11/06. Madonie: Between Piano Zucchi and Munciarrati.
Altitude: 780m., Shade: 60%, Aspect: West, Slope: 60°, Soil: Humus over clay-loam, pH: 7.2.
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Quercus ilex and Q. pubscens woodland on stream gulley side. Cyclamen growing on ground and as chasmophytes on limestone outcrops. Growing Conditions: Very moist. Thick wet humus layer over dry, hard, clay-loam.
Associated Plants: Quercus ilex, Q. pubescens.

23/11/06. Madonie: A little north of Piano Zucchi.
Altitude: 973m., Shade: 60%, Aspect: Northwest, Slope: 30°, Soil: Brown loam with limestone rubble, pH: 7.2.
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Quercus ilex woodland with Sorbus & Crataegus. Limestone outcrops & limestone rubble. Cyclamen principally growing in rock crevices & in mosses. Growing Conditions: Very damp. Area trampled by livestock, plants doing well on and around rocks and trees.
Associated Plants: Quercus ilex, Sorbus sp., Crataegus sp., llex aquifolium, Paeonia mascula, Allium sp., Saxifraga sp., Euphorbia sp., orchids, ferns, mosses, grasses.

23/11/06. Madonie: A little north of Piano Zucchi.
Altitude: 850m., Shade: 40-50%, Aspect: South, Slope: Flat to 5°, Soil: Brown loam, pH: 7.2.
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Mixed sparse woodland with low trees, shrubs, herb layer, limestone rubble and grass ‘clearings’. Growing Conditions: Very moist. Cyclamen confined to vegetation at base of trees and shrubs.
Associated Plants: Acer campestre, Crataegus sp., Paeonia mascula, Arum sp., Euphorbia sp., Salvia sp., Rosa sp., Hedera helix, Daphne sp., grasses.

23/11/06. Madonie: Side road to Pizza S. Angelo, Osservatory Geofiscio and Santuaro di Gibilmanna, off Isnello to Cefalu road.
Altitude: 813m., Shade: 30%, Aspect: West-southwest, Slope: 35-45°, Soil: Sandy clay loam with sandstone fragments, pH: 7.1.
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Mixed Quercus ?petraea and Q. ilex woodland. Sparse trees with open areas and sandstone outcrops, rubble, and fragments. Growing Conditions: Very healthy, dense, and extensive population with Cyclamen growing throughout including within piles of sandstone rubble.
Associated Plants: Quercus ?petraea, Q. ilex, Arisarum vulgare, Crocus sp., Smilex sp., Allium sp., Euphorbia sp., Orobanche sp., grasses.

23/11/06. Madonie: Western end of Piano Battaglia.
Altitude: 1581m., Shade: 40%, Aspect: Northwest, Slope: 20°, Soil: Humic loam, pH: 6.4.
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Fagus sylvatica woodland with limestone outcrops & rubble. Growing Conditions: Deep Fagus leaf litter (5-15cm). Cyclamen growing almost entirely in tree bottoms, around outcrops and in rock crevices. Associated Plants: Fagus sylvatica, Trifolium sp., Lamium sp., grasses, mosses.

24/11/06. Monte Iblei area, between Sortino and Buccheri.
Altitude: 670m., Shade: 30%, Aspect: North-northeast, Slope: 0-30-45°, Soil: Humic clay loam with limestone fragments, pH: 7.5.
Species: Cyclamen hederifolium.
Habitat: Limestone outcrops under Quercus by roadside, forming small terraces. Growing Conditions: Cyclamen growing around and under outcrops, in crevices, and in deep Quercus litter.
Associated Plants: Quercus ?petraea, Cistus sp., Crocus sp., Ruscus aculeatus, Cytisus sp., grasses.

Acknowledgements. We would like to thank the following for assistance in obtaining permission to collect plants and herbarium specimens in the Regional Parks of the Nebrodi and Madonie Mountains: Dr Stephen Jury, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Reading; Dr Gianniantonio Domina, Dipartimento di Scienze Botaniche, Universita degli Studi di Palermo; Ing Massimo Geraci, II Direttore, Parco Dei Nebrodi; Dr Peppuccio Bonomo, Dirig Tee Agrario – Responsabile, Conservazione natura, Parco Delle Madonie; Lidia Di Gangi, lstruttore a contratto, Conservazione natura, Parco Delle Madonie.