Cyclamen libanoticum


Flowers appear in spring, in the wild from late February to early April, clear pink, with a spicy, peppery scent. The corolla lobes are reflexed, 20-30mm long, with slightly pointed tips, wide and generally not twisted, giving the impression of a very large flower, and without auricles at the base. There is an M shaped magenta blotch at the base of each corolla lobe.

Leaves appear in late autumn/early winter, full grown by flowering time, basically heart shaped, often with slightly wavy margins and sometimes with small teeth, often with a central green triangle surrounded by an ill defined paler green or grey green zone or patches, sometimes with spots or flecks as well, underside reddish purple, 4-14cm long, 4-12cm wide.


Tuber a compressed sphere, small to medium sized at maturity, up to 5cm diameter, brown, smooth, becoming rough with age, branching very thin (0.5mm) diameter roots arise from the centre of the underside or one side also.


Cyclamen libanoticum grows only on and around the limestone mountain of Jabal Moussa in the valley of the Ibrahim River in the Lebanon.


Cyclamen libanoticum grows in deciduous and evergreen oak woodland, from 600-950m, with rainfall from December to March and humid air from the Mediterranean the rest of the year. It grows on limestone, generally in moist heavily shaded places, on north and north western facing slopes, in deep leaf litter or moss under dense undergrowth among trees.


Cyclamen libanoticum is fairly hardy but tends to be cultivated as a pot plant in a cool greenhouse in northwest Europe. Cultivated plants have limited variability at present (2016) compared with the wild population and no cultivars have been selected. C. libanoticum is related to C. cyprium and C. pseudibericum. In cultivation, C. libanoticum has hybridised with C. cyprium (C. x wellensiekii) and with C. pseudibericum (C. x schwarzii).