Friday, March 19, 2010

Cyclamen neapolitanum

A lovely, but somewhat strange plant that I just love having in my garden. The leaves come out in the fall and last through the winter. I covered mine with a spruce branch this past winter and I'm glad I did because it kept the snow from flattening the leaves. Leaves and flowers are not necessarily out at the same time.
This plant is also known by the name of Cyclamen hederifolium, which is the more proper name.
It is native to the Mediterranean region - Southern France, Italy, Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, etc.
The flowers look just like the fancy florist types that won't live in our gardens around here. These, although they originate in places that are warmer than here in our zone 6 garden, are perfectly hardy here and will survive even in zone 4 with protection. It will grow in full sun or partial shade and even beneath trees. I have a clump in sun and one in shade and I do think the shady one is happier and has expanded quite a bit more than the sunny clump. A woodsy soil is best.

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