Winter Jewel

Cyclamen coum

Cyclamen coum

Cyclamen coum is now blooming in my entry garden under a lilac and  Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’.   In summer, it is completely dormant (disappears underground) only to have the  mottled foliage reappear in late autumn and early winter.  The flowers can appear as early as late December and are usually some shade of pink through magenta with darker markings at the base, but some are white flowered as well.    It is reputedly one the few plants that will tolerate the dense shade of our native conifers and deciduous trees. I’d like to give this a try sometime.  Cyclamen coum is drought resistant and will naturalize  slowly by seed.  It grows best  in light to dappled shade and well-drained soil.    There is a lovely thick patch under the paperbark maple in the winter garden at the Washington Park Arboretum.

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