Our choice plant of the month is the beautiful indoor Cyclamen persicum.
Originating from the Middle East, Cyclamen persicum naturally grows in countries such as Palestine, Syria, Israel, Greece, Turkey and some Mediterranean islands – Sicily Rhodes and Cyprus. However, it does not grow in Iran, or ancient Persia, as its botanical name suggests! It was introduced into Europe at the end of the 16th Century, probably in France first.
Somewhat neglected in the following century, the cyclamen became fashionable again in France in the 1900’s. But since 1860 the first variants of the botanical or wild cyclamen appeared in England, then in Germany, with much bigger flowers and varying colours. They are the ancestors of our current varieties. Today, new cultivation methods and new varieties such as the F1 hybrid varieties offer longer lasting, hardier and more regular flowering and a white range of colours.
Cyclamen have been used to decorate our homes for many hundreds of years. The lovely nodding flowers stand proudly above the magnificent silver grey foliage, and will last for many weeks provided the plant is cared for correctly.