White-silver Patternleaf
Winter Cyclamens

"In the autumn the little rosy cyclamens blossom in the shade of this west side of the lake. They are very cold & fragrant, & their scent seems to belong to Greece, to the Bacchae. They are real flowers of the past. They seem to be blossoming in the landscape of Phaedra & Helen. They bend down, they brood like little chill fires. They are little living myths that I cannot understand."

D. H. Lawrence


Sorting through a stock of Cyclamen coum which were mostly very plain-leafed or with faint patterns, I selected out the "exceptions" which were strikingly pewtered or white-silvered.

Of a dozen specimens purchased, I kept four for myself, three white-silver patternleaf with broad fir tree silhouettes, & one unpatterned silverleaf. I stuck them in among a group of cyclamens near the foot of a Western Syringa. The other eight were added to an array of cyclamens I had already planted in the Sinhur Gardens where I do landscaping, to lend further variety to the leaf-types in that location.

White-silverThe plant shown first on this page had the whitest silver markings of those I hand-selected. The second photo shows one of the other white-silver patternleaf specimens, the markings being only slightly less perfectly white.

It is not always easy to distinguish between pewter, silver, & white-silver markings on cyclamens, when there exists every intermediate shade. But these are fairly distinct from the silverier Patterned Silverleaf pink. If you link back to the 'Patterned Silverleaf' you will see that it does not have the green rim, but is pewtered or silvered right to the edge of the leaf, whereas these white-silvered specimens have a narrow green margin all around the edge of the leaves. These are perhaps subtle distinctions, but a love of cyclamens encourages an appreciation for subtlties.

The local wholesaler (Northwest Perennials) offered these as "Silver Christmas Tree" to distinguish them from the green-rimmed but otherwise unpatterned Silverleaf offered at the same time. The leaves are particularly round with variable size from plant to plant. Flowers also vary from plant to plant, ranging from pink to magenta, always with darker pink noses.

All forms of C. coum ssp coum are extremely hardy. Reports of them flourishing in gardens as far north as in Zone 4 are legion, though it is more easily grown in areas no colder than zone 6, & very much ideal here in zone 8.

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Cyclamen coum spp coum 'Silverleaf Pink'


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