Plant of the Month March 2016

Cyclamen coum is not the much loved cyclamen house pot plant, but a tuberous hardy perennial flowering in the garden from late winter to early spring. It is native to Turkey and Israel but will grow well in the UK in partial shade with well drained leafy soil suiting it best.

The tubers are small, no more than 6mm in diameter with roots growing from the base. The leaves are neat, rounded or heart shaped and smooth. They may be dark green in colour, or marked in many ways with patterns of dark green on silver or pale green. Pewter forms are very handsome and have an AGM.

The flowers can be magenta, pink or white with reflexed slightly twisted petals with a dark ring at the base. It self seeds freely with each seed attached to a coiled spring.

Many of the newer forms are not as hardy in this country as the original C. coum. Jacques Armand nursery at Stanmore have many beautiful forms that are worth chancing.

C. coum is a small plant not to be confused with Cyclamen hederifolium  that flowers in late summer and autumn. Both have such beautiful foliage, but if grown in proximity  the larger ivy leaved shaped  hederifolium will swamp C.coum. I would grow both forms just for their foliage; their flowers are a bonus.

It is a shame that I’m not the only one who appreciates the leaves of C.coum. A horrible pest eats them leaving little holes.

At Reveley there is a cluster of coums by the greenhouse and others scattered in the garden.

 Previous Months

February 2016

January 2016

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