October 8, 2012

A Collection of Autumn-Blooming Cyclamen Species

A WHITE FORM OF CYCLAMEN HEDERIFOLIUM BLOOMING IN THE GREENHOUSE

I am not a Cyclamen expert, although I grow many species both in pots in the greenhouse and in the garden, and although I am not a bulb expert, I suppose that after twelve years of growing bulbs in the greenhouse, that I must have more experience than others. I just feel a little inadequate when pitted against the real experts the botanists and enthusiasts who can identify a Cyclamen purpurescens from a C. hedrifolium. I would have to key them out and look them up in a book.

 I sit somewhere between the expert and the enthusiast. I've been thinking about this lately, as I have been asked to speak at the Autumn Study Weekend of the North American Rock Garden Society this coming Saturday in Pittsburgh. As the guest speaker at their annual dinner on Saturday night, I am feeling a little inexperienced on the subject, especially when presenting in front of many of the country's most experienced and knowledgeable growers. 


IN MY SAND BEDS, CYCLAMEN SPECIES BLOOM APPRECIATING THE DAMP SAND BELOW THEIR POTS

 I grow my cyclamen species in raised sand beds in my greenhouse. I often keep them in the back of the greenhouse, but this year I moved much of the collection to the front sand bed. The bulbs stay dry for most of the summer when they are dormant, but when the cooler fall weather arrived, they start back into growth. Every year the collection blooms a bit differently. Sometimes, the C. hederifolium send up foliage first, and then they bloom, in other years, they send out flower buds first, and then foliage. In other years, they send foliage and flower buds out at the same time.

CYCLAMEN AFRICANUM, A TENDER SPECIES WHICH LOOKS VERY SIMILAR TO C. HEDERIFOLIUM, EXCEPT FOR IT'S LACK OF HARDINESS. C. HEDERIFOLIUM WILL LIVE OUTDOORS HERE IN ZONE 5.


CYCLAMEN ROHLFSIANUM HAS UNUSUAL FLOWERS. NOTE HOW THEY LOOK MORE LIKE SHOOTING STARS ( DODECATHEON SPECIES) , THAN THE OTHER IMAGES ON THIS POST. OF COURSE, CYCLAMEN AND DODECATHEON ARE BOTH MEMBERS OF PRIMULACEAE, THE PRIMULA FAMILY.

CYCLAMEN GRAECUM, NATIVE TO GREECE, THIS IS OFTEN CONSIDERED THE QUEEN OF TENDER CYCLAMEN SPECIES. OFTEN DIFFICULT TO COAX INTO BLOOM, THE TRICK SEEMS TO BE HOT DRY SUMMERS WITH A LITTLE MOISTURE AT THEIR ROOTS, WHICH I SUPPLY VIA A SLIGHTLY DAMP BED OF SAND.

IN THE GARDEN, CYCLAMEN HEDERIFOLIUM CAN PROVIDE SPOTS OF LATE AUTUMN COLOR IN PROTECTED WOODLAND CONDITIONS UNDER TREES, WHERE THERE IS SUMMER DRYNESS.

IN THE GREENHOUSE, POTTED CYCLAMEN PROVIDE THE FIRST SURE SIGN OF FALL AS THEY BEGIN TO EMERGE FOR THEIR WINTER OF GROWTH



3 comments :

  1. Thanks Matt, for your feedback on your experience with Cyclamen. My C. graecum bloomed for the first time this year after spending their summer dormancy, bone dry in the cool of my basement. Not sure what i did right, but they are spectacular this Fall.
    Good luck with your talk, I'm sure you'll do a great job!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Stunning little angels.

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  3. They are beautiful. I would like to try growing them. They will have to grow in pots since cyclamen are not hardy in zone 3.

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