Cyclamen hederifolium var. hederifolium f. albiflorum

29 Dec

Cyclamen hederifolium var. hederifolium f. albiflorum flower (17/12/2011, London)

Cyclamen hederifolium var. hederifolium f. albiflorum flower (17/12/2011, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late autumn to early winter

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 15cm

Eventual Spread: 15cm

Hardiness: 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Myrsinaceae

Cyclamen hederifolium var. hederifolium f. albiflorum is a low growing tuberous perennial. The summer time is the dormant period for this plant and in most instances the leaves will not be in evidence. The leaves of this plant are notoriously variable. However the leaves are generally Ivy like, dark green or grey-green with a well-marked hastate pattern, mat above and beneath and finely toothed. The flowers are pure white, sometimes with pale pink in the throat. After fertilisation, the flower stalk coils down to the ground, these contain a seed pod. The round tubers of this plant will grow in time and may achieve a diameter of up to 20cm.

Cyclamen hederifolium var. hederifolium f. albiflorum, commonly known as the Hardy Cyclamen or Ivy-leaved cyclamen, is native to the northern Mediterranean region. This plant is synonymous with Cyclamen neapolitanum. Cyclamen seeds are naturally dispersed by ants, called myrmecochory. The seeds have a sticky covering called an elaiosome which attracts ants. The ants then carry the seed into their nest, eat the elaiosome and discard the seed.

Cyclamen hederifolium var. hederifolium f. albiflorum leaf (17/12/2011, London)

Cyclamen hederifolium var. hederifolium f. albiflorum leaf (17/12/2011, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Cyclamen is derived from the Greek kyklos ‘ring or circle’ and amen (from the Hebrew) ‘truly’ in reference to the coiled fruiting stalk or shape of the tuber. Hederifolium is derived from the Latin for Ivy, hedera and folium ‘leaf’. Albiflorum is derived from the Latin albo ‘make white’ and flora ‘the goddess of flowers’

The landscape architect may find Cyclamen hederifolium var. hederifolium f. albiflorum useful as a spreading ground cover plant beneath the dry shade of a tree. It will self seed and propagate itself and once established it is drought tolerant during the summer months.

Cyclamen hederifolium var. hederifolium f. albiflorum Seed (07/04/2012)

Cyclamen hederifolium var. hederifolium f. albiflorum Seed (07/04/2012)

Ecologically, Cyclamen hederifolium var. hederifolium f. albiflorum provide a source of food for ants in the form of the sticky covering on the seed cases.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given the species Cyclamen hederifolium their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Cyclamen hederifolium var. hederifolium f. albiflorum prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It particularly enjoys soils with a high proportion of leaf mould. The tubers dislike wet soils.

Cyclamen hederifolium var. hederifolium f. albiflorum requires little maintenance. The moving or splitting of a crowded clump should be carried out in the dormant summer period.

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2 Responses to “Cyclamen hederifolium var. hederifolium f. albiflorum”

  1. Gabriel 16/12/2014 at 19:06 #

    This is probably random and rude, because I came upon your site through a Google Search, and I apologize, but the plant in your leaf and seed pod photos is not Cyclamen hederifolium, but rather Cyclamen persicum. Cyclamen hederifolium has leaves with clear angles like ivy, although the particular shape varies, and its leaf pattern, though it varies from all-green to all-silver, never has the pattern shown in the photo, which is characteristic of Cyclamen persicum. (Cyclamen hederifolium typically has a Christmas-tree shaped green patch, not smooth and heart-shaped, and does not usually have silver veins.) In Cyclamen hederifolium, the stems of the ripe seed pods are curled into a spiral; they do not bend in one place as in Cyclamen persicum. Therefore, it’s clear to me the photos show Cyclamen persicum. If the photos are of varieties you sell, you will need to re-label them, since Cyclamen persicum is not as cold-hardy as Cyclamen hederifolium and cannot be freely substituted for it in the garden.

    • Davis Landscape Architecture 17/12/2014 at 08:36 #

      Gabriel, thank you for your comment, its not rude, we always welcome reader feedback. I will investigate and correct this post as necessary.

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