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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dry Shade: Hardy Cyclamen

Those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest often garden beneath large, thirsty trees where the soil remains relatively dry year-round.  This can make it difficult for plants to become established and is a source of frustration for many gardeners.  Fortunately certain plants such as hardy Cyclamen thrive in this situation.  Cyclamen grow during the fall and winter months and are a bright spot in the off-season garden.
Cyclamen hederifolium
Cyclamen hederifolium 'Album'

Cyclamen hederifolium needs a dry summer dormancy and grows happily tucked in the dry soils at the base of trees and shrubs.  Pink or white flowers are produced in fall followed by interesting foliage in a range of colors from pewter to shades of green and in interesting and variable shapes and patterns.  Over time plants reseed and colonize an area, creating a charming woodland effect.
Cyclamen hederfolium foliage

Cyclamen coum is another hardy species that flowers in late winter to early spring.  Its rounded leaf can be solid green or heavily marked.  We grow a striking silver leaf form that produces dark pink flowers.  
Cyclamen coum

Cyclamen coum Silver Leaf form


  1. I was lucky enough to get some Cyclamen hederifolium 'Album' from a neighbor who has had the purple and the white forms seeding around his decades. They make very charming little drifts.

  2. I've visited several gardens this fall and enjoyed the way the naturalized Cyclamen perfectly complement the fall foliage of the surrounding trees and shrubs. They are tough, long lived and beautiful. What's not to love?

  3. I have long been enamored by Cyclamen and walking through drifts of them at the Berry Botanical Garden during their final days renewed my interest. Courtney gave me a quick primer and intrigued me all the more. I smiled at hearing how the ants and slugs had carried off the sweet, gel-encased seeds creating new beds, and a friend was relieved to learn that her lack of success was most likely due to planting that variety too deep. I look forward to Wild Ginger Farm adding more varieties; I just read that C. purpurascens blooms in the summer, and the small C. intaminatum would be great for troughs. I'll stay tuned.

  4. These all are plants are very nice as they are discussing the details of each and every plant, and I come to know about many nice points.