Cyclamen are tuberous winter-growing Mediterranean natives that are best known as difficult-to-keep-alive house plants (Cyclamen persicum). However, there are 23 species in the genus Cyclamen and several of them (e.g., Cyclamen hederifolium, and Cyclamen coum) make wonderful, easy to grow, winter-hardy specimens.
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Cyclamen grow best if they can be kept dry in summer-rainfall climates. We find that our Cyclamen thrive near the base of a large tree or conifer where they get sun for part of the day but little moisture while they are summer dormant.
Cyclamen are small plants that can be best displayed in a rock garden or a spot where nothing else competes for space. Cyclamen leaves emerge in the fall and are the main ornamental feature. Cyclamen leaves are usually heart shaped and sport amazing silver variegation patterns that vary from individual to individual. Cyclamen typically flower over a two to three month period with bizarre little pink, purple, or white flowers. Since Cyclamen are so small, they only pair well with other small plants that will not overgrow or crowd them out like graptopetalum, dwarf hosta, and dwarf agave.
When you are ready to buy hardy cyclamen for your garden, check out our online list of hardy cyclamen for sale below.
Since 1988, Plant Delights Nursery has been the choice of serious gardeners and plant collectors looking for the best and rarest perennial plants. We are pleased to have received the Perennial Plant Association Retail Award in 2011, the American Horticulture Society Commercial Award in 2002, and to have been selected as one of the Best Mail Order Plant Sources - Garden Design Magazine 2010. Welcome to our family of plant lovers!
Cyclamen cilicium is a Turkish native that seems to prefer a bit more sun and better drainage than other species. The green and silver-mottled round leaves make a nice foil for the flowers that range in color from deep pink to white. In NC, Cyclamen cilicium flowers from early October through December...just preceding Cyclamen coum. Our clumps have thrived for more than a decade under a large eucalyptus tree...dry in the summer. Pot Size: 7.87 fl. oz (232.7 ml)
From a round corm which sits just below the soil surface, these cute, rock garden-sized perennials burst forth in late fall with small, rounded, quarter-sized silver leaves. Cyclamen coum forms small clumps adorned in late winter (January, February in NC) with the 4" tall flowers ranging from pink to purple. The clumps go summer dormant and prefer to be very dry during this rest period. This can be accomplished by planting them under the canopy of conifers or large trees. Pot Size: 7.87 fl. oz (232.7 ml)
From the folks at Terra Nova comes Cyclamen coum 'Something Magic'...the first cloned selection of hardy Cyclamen to be successful in tissue culture after several hundred attempts. Cyclamen coum 'Something Magic' is an attractive form with small, dark green, rounded patterned leaves, highlighted by a solid pewter center. The clumps, which sprout from a thick corm, are topped with short violet-pink flowers in late winter. Cyclamen coum goes summer dormant, but re-emerges in fall. Be sure to plant cyclamen where they will be protected from excessive moisture while they are summer dormant. Pot Size: 7.87 fl. oz (232.7 ml)
The cute Cyclamen cyprium is endemic (found only) on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The very strongly scented, small, graceful, white flowers have narrow petals and a magenta blotch at the base of the petals. Small olive-green leaves with light green markings appear with the flowers in autumn. Pot Size: 7.87 fl. oz (232.7 ml)
Cyclamen graecum ssp. anatolicum is a distinct form of the species from Turkey, Rhodes, and North Cyprus. The flowers appear from August through October, followed by the wonderfully patterned foliage that persists until spring. Cyclamen graecum var. anatolicum has smaller, but sweeter scented flowers than the typical species. Pot Size: 7.87 fl. oz (232.7 ml)
Cyclamen graecum ssp. candicum originates from partially sunny, but dry rocky hillsides in the Lefka Ori region of Crete, where we saw it growing in 2010. The August to October-borne flowers are white to pale pink, usually with a deep purple basal blotch. As with the species, the fall-emerging, late spring dormant leaves are incredibly patterned. Pot Size: 7.87 fl. oz (232.7 ml)
Cyclamen graecum is a rarely grown cyclamen species that is one of our favorites. It's a bit more difficult than Cyclamen hederifolium, so don't make this species your first attempt with hardy cyclamen. While not as vigorous as Cyclamen hederifolium, the very dark green, velvety-appearing foliage (often patterned silver) is stunning even when not in flower. The leaves include some of the most striking patterns and vivid color combinations found in the entire genus. In late summer and fall, the tiny clumps are topped with flowers of red, pink, rose, or white...rising just above the foliage. Cyclamen graecum prefers a sunnier site than most other cyclamen species. This is a variable species with a wild distribution in Greece, Crete, Turkey, and Cyprus on screes and other rocky sites. Pot Size: 7.87 fl. oz (232.7 ml)
Who could not help but love these delightful little cormous perennials? From the tops of these grey, pumpkin-shaped corms, which sit just below ground level, emerge the striking green and silver mottled foliage in early October, making 6-12" wide mounds. Starting in July and continuing through October, just prior to the emerging foliage, the tiny pink dodecatheon-like flowers poke through the ground. By late spring, the foliage dies down and does something many of us wish we could do...go to sleep for the summer. Cyclamen are great in masses and will naturalize in woodland settings where they can be dry while dormant. We prefer to situate them at the base or under the canopy of large trees or shrubs. Cyclamen hederifolium was named by the Royal Horticultural Society as one of the top 200 plants of the last 200 years! Pot Size: 7.87 fl. oz (232.7 ml)
These Cyclamen hederifolium seedlings are selected white-flowered forms of the typically pink hardy cyclamen. Cyclamen hederifolium begins flowering for us mid-summer through October when the leaves emerge. The foliage remains evergreen all winter before finally going dormant in late spring. Pot Size: 7.87 fl. oz (232.7 ml)
Cyclamen hederifolium 'Sweetheart Splash' is a cloned selection of Cyclamen hederifolium with silver leaves, edged with an attractive border of pewtery green. The plants begin flowering with lovely white shooting star-like flowers, sans foliage in July/August and continue through fall when the leaves emerge. The charming leaves of Cyclamen 'Sweetheart Splash' remain until late spring when the plant goes dormant. Well-drained soil that stays fairly dry in summer is the key to success. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
(aka: Cyclamen confusum) Cyclamen hederifolium ssp. confusum is a strange tetraploid form of Cyclamen hederifolium from the southern part of its native range (Crete, Sicily, and Southern Grece). In appearance, Cyclamen hederifolium ssp. confusum is similar to the typical species except for the exceptionally thick vinyl-like leaves. The flowers begin in midsummer and continue through fall. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Cyclamen intaminatum is a diminutive plant native to Turkey. The flowers, which are white with grey veins or pale pink, appear from August through November, emerging either before or along with the leaves. The leaves are almost round and are either plain green or have a grey marbling in the center. Cyclamen intaminatum is fairly hardy, but due to its small stature is usually grown in pots or in an alpine garden. Pot Size: 7.87 fl. oz (232.7 ml)
We love Cyclamen mirabile, not only for the charming pink flowers produced from September through December, but also for the highly ornamental silver dollar-sized foliage which is often intricately patterned in silver and green. Cyclamen mirabile has been particularly reliable for us, thriving under our largest Eucalyptus tree which provides dappled shade and dry soil during the summer while the bulb is resting. The 1" bright pink nodding flowers are typical of the species, although the individual petals are often twisted. New foliage emerges in autumn and is sometimes flushed pink, aptly living up to its epithet "mirabile", which means marvelous! Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
We have had good luck with the Mediterranean Cyclamen purpurascens, provided it is planted where it can stay fairly dry in the summer months. In the wild, we saw Cyclamen purpurascens growing on alkaline soils throughout much of the Balkans, hailing from as high as 4,200' elevation, further north than any other cyclamen species. The round patterned leaves and dark pink flowers of Cyclamen purpurascens spring alive from June through September, adding great color to the summer woodland garden. In colder climates, good winter drainage is key to survival. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)
Cyclamen rohlfsianum is a rare, difficult to cultivate species that in native only in the Libyan foothills. It is reportedly not frost-tolerant but we are trialing it here to find out. Cyclamen rohlfsianum has pink, sweetly fragrant flowers from August through October. The large-lobed maple-shaped leaves, whose lower surface is either purplish or red and dark green with silver or light green patterns, appear in late summer. Cyclamen rohlfsianum is the only species that always produces flowers with protruding anthers like Dodecatheon. Keep this one very dry, even when grown as a container specimen. Cyclamen rohlfsianum is extremely hard to find and our offering represents 5 year old plants. Pot Size: 7.87 fl. oz (232.7 ml)
Cyclamen hederifolium ssp. crassifolium is a subspecies of Cyclamen hederifolium from the Greek Peloponnese that was formally described in 2009 as being different from typical Cyclamen hederifolium in both appearance and chromosome number. As with typical Cyclamen hederifolium, the flowering period extends from late July through November (NC) and the flower color can range from pink to white. Pot Size: 3.5" (24 fl. oz/709.77 ml)