"I, when the cyclamen
Opens her buds again,
Rejoice a moment then
The species name of Cyclamen hederifolium means "foliage like ivy," due to the pointed, elongated, seven-sided triangular shape of the leaf, also called sagittate or arrow-like. Not all cyclemens of this species have exactly this shape of leaf, but it's the centrally "normal" form with round or oval forms varying from this norm.
As one might expect from a plant that has a natural range from the south of France, throughout Medeterranean islands & all the way to Turkey, the variation in these leaves is extreme, but shown on this page is an example of the basic pattern-leaf autumn cyclamen leaf: deckled edges, frosted or mottled or webbed pewtering over the surface, with a central silhouette clear green in a shape variously described as an arrow, spearhead, shield, or fir tree.
Then the basic flower color is pink, but this too varies from white with pink "nose," to pale "shell pink," to darker "rose pink," to much darker "Magenta." Those are the four fundamental shades, but some magenta varieties are darker still & called "Ruby" plus there are "Bicolors" half pink & half white, themselves with the same range of color intensity from shell pink to magenta. But the commonest are Shell Pink to Rose Pink, with every gradation in between so that they are not invariably categorizable one or the other.
There is a common belief abroad (based on the generally tragic experience people have trying to keep delicate C. persicum ultra-fancy florist's cyclamens alive) that cyclamens are just too difficult to grow. But C. hederifolium is so hardy it may be regarded as no-maintenace, & so extremely longlived that tubers in excess of a century old have been documented.
The exact behavior of various patches of C. hederifolium is rarely exactly the same, due to slight differences of conditions in various areas of the garden, & because various strains do different things, & we intentionally get them from as many different growers as we can.
Cyclamen hederifolium ssp hederifolium,
Double-shield Shell Pink
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