Cyclamen cilicium


Flowers appear in autumn, in the wild from September to November, dependent on altitude, from white to deep pink, with a sweet honey scent. The corolla lobes are reflexed, 15-20mm long, 4-6mm wide, with pointed tips, generally 90-180 degrees twist, no auricles at the base, and with a darker basal blotch. A pure white, forma album, without the blotch, is known from a single location.

Leaves appear in autumn with or after the flowers, dependent on the amount of rain, oval to heart shaped, sometimes with shallowly scalloped edges, with a green ‘Christmas tree’ centre surrounded by a broken paler green or grey-green area, underside reddish-purple, 1.5-6cm long, 1.5-5cm wide.


Tuber a compressed sphere, often flattening on top with age, medium sized at maturity, up to 5cm diameter, brown, smooth, with fine velvety hairs, branching thin (1mm) diameter roots arise from the centre of the underside.


Cyclamen cilicium grows in southern Turkey, in the provinces of Adana, Antalya, Icel, Isparta, Karaman and Konya, along the extensive Taurus mountain range.


Cyclamen cilicium is a mountain species, found over a wide altitude range from about 200 – 2000m, mainly in sandy clay, almost exclusively over limestone, usually in deciduous woodland, sparse coniferous woodland or scrub but sometimes, where the cover has been felled, in shade among rocks.


Cyclamen cilicium is a frost hardy plant and grows well in a dry, sunny site in the garden in northwest Europe. It also makes an excellent pot plant in a cold greenhouse. Two cultivars have been named but one is the white form and the other indistinguishable from many similar wild forms.

Cyclamen cilicium forma album

Cyclamen cilicium forma album

Cyclamen cilicium forma album flower detail.

Cyclamen cilicium forma album recorded from a single
location south of Akseki, Antalya Province, Turkey.

Cyclamen cilicium forma album

Pure white-flowered variants have been named as ‘Album’ but should all properly be referred to as C. cilicium forma album, a valid botanical status published by Erna Frank & Manfred Koenen in 1983.

Although relatively common in cultivation, it remains very rare in nature, only known from its classic location, south of Akseki, where there are about 30 plants in a mixed population.