A member of the primrose family, the pretty cyclamen grows around the Mediterranean and is a winter-flowering plant. With delicate silvery-green markings on their heart-shaped leaves, and butterfly-like upswept petals, this unique and beautiful flower adds colour and splendor to the colder months.
The name ‘cyclamen’ is derived from the Greek ‘kuklos’, meaning ‘circle’, probably due to the round tuber from which the leaves, flowers and roots grow. In most species, leaves come up in the fall, grow through the winter, and then die in spring. The plant then becomes dormant through the hot summer and then the cycle begins again.
Cyclamens prefer cooler conditions but are not frost-hardy. Water only when the soil just below the surface is dry to the touch, as cyclamens do not like to be over-watered. Ideally let the plant take up its own water from a saucer underneath and allow excess water to drain away thoroughly. Cyclamens like bright, indirect sunlight but prefer to be away from direct heat sources. Regularly remove wilted leaves and buds to encourage new buds to open.Cyclamens have some interesting associations. They are said to symbolize resignation and are therefore great to give as a leaving gift or to someone you are saying goodbye to. They are also appropriate as retirement gifts, or to give to a friend who is moving away.
There are also some curious superstitions related to the cyclamen plant. It is said that cyclamens worn by women in labour would ease childbirth and speed up delivery. It is also believed that cyclamens can protect against nightmares when placed beside the bed. Putting cyclamen flowers into one’s nostrils is also said to cure baldness! Cyclamens also have an association with falling in love, raising self esteem and confidence, and healing snake bites, so we think they’re pretty amazing little plants if all that’s to be believed!
Cyclamen come in a variety of colours, from white to pink to purple. They will be in store November through to January, so stop by and pick yours up for a colourful dose of seasonal cheer!