General description: Cyclamen are corms, as opposed to bulbs, and are close relations to the cyclamen sold as flowering house-plants. They do of course produce a much smaller flower, but have the great advantage of being hardy. They also thrive in positions where many plants have great difficulty in growing, such as amongst tree roots.
There is a wide range of cyclamen varieties, with colours ranging from red, through pink, lilac and mauve, to white. Their leaves are generally marbled, and are e quite attractive in their own right.

Cyclamen Neopolitanum. This picture is of a single mature corm growing beneath a beech tree in our garden.

Cyclamen Coum.

Cyclamen that have naturalised





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Where best to plant: Because they are so small cyclamen are best planted where they will not be over-shadowed by taller plants. They will grow, it's just that you won't see them!
We find them a really useful flower in our garden as they flower seemingly from the autumn, through the winter, and right through the spring. Not the same plant necessarily, but something somewhere is producing flowers. We choose positions around tree roots, at the edge of the wilder areas of out garden, in walls, and in areas we do not intend to dig or hoe.

Planting hints: Cyclamen are very shallow rooted, and indeed the corm itself when planted is usually only covered with a very light scattering of soil. The corm will grow wider and wider, and we have ourselves grown corms that have grown six inches or more in width. They are very easily damaged when weeding with a hoe, or similar implement, or can be accidentally lifted out of the ground. Replanting cures the latter problem, but if they are split they generally do not survive. They like dry conditions better than damp, and do not appear to respond to feeding.
When planting, note which side in convex in shape, and place this side downside. Often there are traces of the previous year's flower stems, which should be uppermost.
They can be planted singly, or in groups. 

Variety information: Cyclamen are often referred to as autumn and spring varieties. We find there is quite an overlap in fact, but offer the Neopolitanum (or Hederafolium) for autumn use, and Coum for spring. The Neopolitanum corm should be firm to the touch, with little evidence of cracking or crinkling of the surface. They tend to be larger than the Coum variety.  Coums on the other hand are often bungey  to the touch, and very crinkled.

Other useful facts: Cyclamen originated from Turkey and surrounding countries, growing on the bare mountainsides. In the old days they were scraped off the thin soil and those that survived were sold to European gardeners. All that is now illegal, so al the cyclamen we sell have been grown under controlled and sustainable conditions.