1. The secrets of Cyclamen hederifolium

The secrets of Cyclamen hederifolium

When all the leaves are falling from the trees, the silvery flowers of this little bulbous plant are just peeking above the ground. Cyclamen hederifolium: it's a real autumn-flowering delight. I once received this cyclamen as a business gift. Instead of planting it in the garden, however, I was supposed to put it in a little bowl and then wait to see what was going to happen. As you could imagine, I didn't really know what to think.

From something plain to something pretty

When this cyclamen is not in bloom and all it looks like is an unattractive brown lump, it's hard to think of it as pretty. It's simply a big, dull-coloured corm. What could you possibly use it for? Have patience, however, and wait until it starts to bloom... It's amazing to watch how elegantly and charmingly its delicate little stems emerge from the corm. What follows are heart-shaped little flowers with a silvery pattern. Once the cyclamen is fully in flower, the contrast between this and what it used to be is truly impressive. Your room then becomes the setting for a beautiful jewel.


The name 'cyclamen' comes from the Greek word kuklos meaning 'circle', which refers to both the flat round corm and the circular growth habit of the flowers. More than twenty species of cyclamen have been discovered. Some come from the Mediterranean region, others from Asia Minor and Central Europe. Their flowers are usually pink, white or reddish in colour.

Silver in the garden

I got a lot of enjoyment from having my Cyclamen hederifolium indoors, but you can also plant it in the garden. Think ahead, though, because the corm has to be planted in the autumn, a year ahead. Next autumn, it will start to produce its beautiful little flowers that will give your garden a silvery glow. Cyclamen hederifolium is entirely hardy and will naturalise to produce more and more flowers every year. That's nice because it can find its own spots to fill in my garden.

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