Pewter-leaf

Jade-margined
'Broadleigh Silver' (Pewter Group)
Pink Winter Cyclamen


"The indignity of it! --
With everything blooming above me,
Lilies, pale-pink cyclamen, roses,
Whole fields lovely & inviolate, --
Me down in the fetor of weeds,
Crawling on all fours, Alive, in a slippery grave."

-Theodore Roethke
(1908-1963)

   

The pink-flowering pewter-leaf Cyclamen coum ssp coum forma coum is by many growers not distinguished from unpatterned silverleaf winter cyclamen, so silverleaf is in practice inclusive of pewter-leaf. But it takes no great ability to see that a silvered leaf is shinier & very silvery, whereas the pewtered leaf is greyish silver or cloudy, & increasing numbers of growers are now distinguishing Pewter Group from Silver Group.

The basic pink-flowering jade-margined pewters are sometimes offered as 'Broadleigh Silver' though obviously pewter rather than silver. The type became so-named because English plantsman Basil Smith obtained his first-seedstocks for such pewtered leaves during a sale & show at the Royal Horticultural Society, from the booth of Broadleigh Gardens.

Their flower petals have a tendency to spread apart into a windmill or propeller shape reminiscent of C. trochopteranthum, though not all within this group have this feature. It has been reported that a few descended from the original 'Broadleigh Silver' are rarely but occasionally scented.

Their color ranges from Shell-pink to Rose-pink, with Shell-pink predominating, though darker ones pop up from time to time. Similar winter cyclamens of the 'Nymans Group' have magenta flowers, while 'Maurice Dryden' has white flowers. Each group has considerable variation in their silver or pewter.

The October (2005) photo shows a pewter-leaf growing under the chokecherry on a garden ledge. It's very typical of the leaf color, having a green margin all around an unpatterned smoothly moonlit pewtering. We have several other of these pewter-leaf forms & some show a bit of webbing or mottling or a central green stripe.

Varieties lacking the jade margin occur in every group but I would regard them as of a different form. An ideal example of a winter cyclamen with pewtering evenly dispersed to the very edge is 'Tilebarn Elizabeth.' There are also pewterleaf or silverleaf forms with that do have the arrowhead silhouette in the middle of the leaf, such as the pink Patterned Silverleaf.

Leaves for most of these green-edged pewtereds are not getting going in full earnest until November, though earlier appearances are not unexpected. Just about all of them have smallish or average-sized leaves, though the true silverleaf given its own page is an unusually large leaf. They have a tendency to mature a little bit slower than unpewtered forms, but are not burdensomely slow.

Our jade-margined 'Pewter Group' specimens generally flower December through March, though the one shown above has many pink buds in October that take their sweet time opening while it is expending its energy building up its foliage.

Continue to
Cyclamen coum spp coum forma pallidum,
white winter cyclamen

   



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