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Cyclamen hederifolium 'Jan Bravenboer'

Cyclamen hederifolium f. hederifolium ‘Jan Bravenboer’
Cyclamen hederifolium f. albiflorum ‘Jan Bravenboer’

The distinctive feature of the cultivar is the leaves – the colour of the flowers is unimportant. The pattern of the leaf is striking and the colour of the leaf’s central zone changes during the season, with the purple-grey centre tending to expand slightly, so that it, as it were, lies on the leaf surface and thus generates a 3D effect giving the leaf an extra ‘wow’ factor.. The leaves are broadly ovate-triangular with shallow angular lobes; central ovate-triangular greyish silver with purple marbled zone that starts at the veins and increasingly engulfs the silver grey during the season. The flowers are obovate-elliptic with obtuse or subacute tip and can be either Pink (RHS colour chart 78D), with a darker basal blotch (RHS colour chart 79C), or white.

This cultivar was raised by Aad Koen, Monster, Netherlands, registered by Paul Hendrikx and named in honour of Dutch cyclamen enthusiast and breeder Jan Bravenboer, who passed away on 30 September 2017.

Jan introduced a number of cultivars such as Cyclamen purpurascens ‘Green Ice’ (after which his nursery was named), C. hederifolium ‘Peter Moore’ and C. coum ‘Porcelain’, and propagated large numbers of selected forms of various species. Jan’s contribution to cyclamen horticulture was significant. Jan was a tremendous supporter of the Cyclamen Society, filling his car with plants for the sales table at Wisley shows, as well as donating thousands of seeds each year to the seed exchange. He had a good sense of humour and the distinctive characteristics of this cultivar suit him well.

C. hederifolium ‘Jan Bravenboer’ comes 60-70% true from seed. Sometimes the leaves show less variation in the green zone around the grey-purple centre and these seedlings should be rogued out. The leaf markings and colouring are somewhat reminiscent of Jan’s own C. purpurascens ‘Picco Rosso’ cultivar.