C. hederifolium album
Tile Barn Elizabeth
Hardy Cyclamen are noted for the quiet beauty of their flowers.
The petals of the cyclamen are upturned and often twisted in varying shades of white, pink, purple and crimson.
Many cyclamen plants have variegated leaves of dark green marbled with silver which provide interest in the garden long after the plants have finished flowering.
After the cyclamen flower is fertilised, the stem, in some varieties, shortens itself by coiling downwards like a spring - this brings the seed pod close to the soil where it later sheds its seed - ready for germination.
The best method of propagating cyclamen is by seed. If the seed is collected when ripe it should be sown at once into seed trays or peat pots filled with sandy soil.
Protect the newly sown seeds from heavy rains by placing them in a shaded cold frame. The cyclamen seedlings will also need to be protected from slugs
If the seed is fresh germination will take place in a few weeks.
Transplant the cyclamen seedlings when the first leaf is about 1 inch across. Grow on until the plants are ayear old - they can then be planted out into the garden.
Tubers of some species of cyclamen may grow up to 12 inches in diameter. If they grow to this size these tubers will bear a large number of flowers - as many as 200 - 400 have been known!
Cyclamen are naturally found in well drained spots under the shelter of rocks or trees. They will often naturalise in gravel paths.
The tubers are often partially out of the ground, but protected by being covered with debris such as leaves.
Under cultivation they seem to do best on slopes or banks that get plenty of light - but that are partially shaded from direct sunlight in Summer.
It is sometimes advised to plant cyclamen in grassy places - but in this environment the grass can choke the cyclamen plants and they become less vigorous.
It is best to find a place to plant cyclamen where they can remain undisturbed; they need very little attention - but don't let neighbouring plants or shrubs overgrow them.
A mulch of leaf mould or well rotted compost or manure is beneficial before growth commences.
Most types of cyclamen grow very freely in limestone soils - old mortar rubble is a good addition to a soil deficient in lime!
Some species of hardy cyclamen are actually tender and can not be left outside during the winter. These cyclamen thrive better when cultivated in pots and kept in a cold frame with protection from wet and cold weather.