01 November 2017

Cyclamen Houseplant of the Month November

Cyclamen Houseplant of the Month November

Thanks to its white and brightly coloured flowers, Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) is the ideal plant to combat the dark day blues. It may look delicate, but it's a strong bloomer that emerges from a sturdy corm.

Cyclamen has long been known as a decorative plant, and is a member of the primrose family. The species that occurs in the wild in the forests and on stony mountain slopes around the Mediterranean from Spain to Iran is the ancestor of today's houseplants. The philosopher Plato described the plant as far back as the 4th century BC. Cyclamen arrived in Europe in the 16th century, where it was grown in the English Queen Elizabeth's botanic gardens, amongst other places. The plant faded from view for a while after that, but came back into fashion in the 19th century thanks to the Romantics, and has never dropped out of sight again.

The choice of cyclamens is largest during the period when there is an R in the month. The best-known are the F1 cyclamens: uniform, strong plants with good flowering characteristics. The range includes large-flowered, medium-flowered (midi) and small-flowered (mini) cyclamens. There are also micro-cyclamens, supplied in a 6 cm pot or a vase. The range of colours is endless, but red, white, pink, lilac and bicoloured plants predominate. The flower can be smooth or have fringes, and the foliage can be green or silver. New shapes and scented flowers are making the range ever more diverse.