Cyclamen cyprium

Description

Flowers appear autumn to early winter, in the wild from September to January, white, occasionally pale pink, very fragrant with a sweet scent. The corolla lobes are reflexed, 10-25mm long, with rounded tips, generally 90 degrees twist and prominent auricles at the base. There is an M shaped magenta blotch like a bird in flight at the base of each corolla lobe.

Leaves appear late autumn to early winter, with or after the flowers, basically heart shaped, with slightly scalloped margins, dark green ground with a surrounding paler green or silver zone, sometimes with spots or flecks instead, underside reddish purple, 3-14cm long, 2-11cm wide.

Tuber

Tuber a compressed sphere, small to medium sized at maturity, up to 7cm diameter, rough, grey, branching very thin (0.5mm) diameter roots arise from one side of the underside.

Distribution

Cyclamen cyprium is endemic to the island of Cyprus.

Habitat

Cyclamen cyprium grows in a typically Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and warm wet winters, from 100-1950m, on both limestone and igneous rocks, in moist shady places on north facing slopes, among trees, under shrubs, higher up in open pinewoods, and in the gorges of seasonal streams.

Cultivation

Cyclamen cyprium will withstand overnight frost but not prolonged freezing and tends to be cultivated as a pot plant in a cool greenhouse in northwest Europe. Flowering occurs over a long period. Cultivars have been selected for leaves with brighter patterning. C. cyprium is related to C. libanoticum and C. pseudibericum. In cultivation, C. cyprium has hybridised with C. libanoticum (C. x wellensiekii).