Cyclamen'Tilebarn Elizabeth' Cyclamen

"Thou Cyclamen of crumpled horn
Toss not thy head aside;
Repose it where the Loves were born,
In that warm dell abide."

Walter Savage Landor


In March 2003 we planted a two-year-old seedling from Ashwood Nursery of England, via Heronswood Nursery near our home, of a cultivar of Cyclamen coum ssp. coum var. coum called 'Tilebarn Elizabeth.'

We placed it at the foot of an Alpine Fir, as cyclamens do very well in areas of tree or shrub roots that don't stay too wet too long at a time. This area gets a little direct sunlight in the morning, which cyclamens by & large don't care for, but this one has done fine with a bit more light than is ideal.

CyclamenThis youngster began producing its unusually compact cluster of leaves in September & slowly (very slowly) increased their numbers all the way through January, when its first magenta bud finally appeared.

At mid-January the first buds appeared, short & in close to the clump, almost hidden under the leaves. The second photo from early-February (2003) shows the buds quite well developed. These bright buds remain closed an unusually long while on this one, & it will not burst into full bloom until mid to late February, being in maximum display for March. This makes it the last of the C. coums to present open flowers, & so also one of the last to be finished flowering.

The leaves remain very much a tight clump. This specimen's attractive round leaf usually has the faintest of faint mottling on the uniformly frosted surface. The underside of the leaf is pinkish purple, but this trait will not be seen unless the leaves are actually lifted to look beneath.

Bloom Leaves can vary so that on other 'Tilebarn Elizabeth' we could have chosen, the faint mottling was not evident at all, & the whole surface was evenly pewtered, but ours on close inspection has misty cloud shapes. Without the most careful close observation, however, the pewter frosting over green leaf gives it a look of solid olive-green or blue-green, a coloration that makes it distinct from any other leaf form.

Apart from the unique leaves, the other outstanding feature that defines 'Tilebarn Elizabeth' is the flower which is bicolor, palest pink verging toward white, with dark rose-red edging, & a dark blotch at the bottom of each petal. The third photo is from early March (2005), & the top photo from the second week in March (2003). As the clump matures along the years, the winter's-end & early spring flowers show themselves with increasing boldness against wholly silvered leaves.

The cultivar is named for the Tile Barn Nursery in Kent, England, co-founded by Peter & Elizabeth Moore. "Tile Barn" refers to the barn adjacent to the beautiful manor house in which the Moores so luckily live. The barn was called the Tile Barn long before there was a nursery.

Continue to
Cyclamen coum 'Silver-leaf Pink'


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