Cyclamen are tuberous perennial plants and surprisingly also belong in the family Primulaceae. Many of the spring flowering species such as Cyclamen coum are grown with early-flowering Primula and Helleborus and will naturalise slowly in the garden creating beautiful displays. The autumn flowering C. hederifolium will leap into life as most other flowers in the garden are dying down, but don’t be tempted to grow them together with the spring flowering species as C. hederifolium is rather thuggish and tends to take over.
Some of the other species will need a bit more looking after as they are quite tender and the watering can be trickier as they are Mediterranean plants for the most part. This means they often have a dry dormant period over the summer and do not like wet winters either. These plants will appeal to the collectors out there. They can be grown in pots in similar conditions to auriculas in alpine houses or cold greenhouse where you can keep more of an eye on the watering.
Our collection was inherited from Philippe Le Goff and his nursery Le Clos d’armoise and is the result of many years of collecting. We will be putting more photos, seeds and plants on-line as we have time to sort out the collection.
To grow them from seed you will need as much patience as for hellebores as they will often only flower after two to three years of growth. To get the best results, the seeds are best sown fresh just after harvest over the summer (July - September) to get the best germination but you can get good results later in the year if you soak the seed first. It is very rewarding way to obtain new plants especially as some of the rarer species are getting harder to find and expensive to buy as tubers.
You will receive detailed instructions on how to sow them with your order.
I recommend the guide produced by Martyn Denny of the Cyclamen Society in the UK for detailed information about each species.