Cyclamen: Pretty in Pink

cyclamenLike dominoes, much of the garden continues to succumb to days of frost.  The cyclamen, however, look terrific. The plant pictured above remained dormant all summer.  As spring and summer annuals died, my trusty cyclamen bloomed again.  I’ve always loved the way the flowers soft petals seem to fold in like little clam shells.

The nurseries are full of them this time of year, usually in red and white.  I assumed they were all the same plant, but apparently the nursery variety are grown for indoors.  Though sold as ‘house plants’, they prefer cool temps.  In fact, if you keep one indoors, they suggest putting it outside for a few hours, or even overnight, to prolong the health of the plant.  It seems counter-intuitive.  The rest of the garden needs salvaging from the carnage of this unusual frost, but the Cyclamen crave it.

According to Garden Web:

Cyclamen [in its native habitat] is an endangered plant. Centuries of collecting from the wild have decimated populations and the Cyclamen is now protected by CITES. CITES is the Congress on International Trade in Endangered Species. It is a worldwide body set up to protect not only plants, but animals that are in danger of extinction. It is illegal to import or export Cyclamen to or from any cooperating country without a CITES permit.

I had no idea!  I saw hundreds of them on display at a nursery earlier this week, so hope this bodes well for their survival.  Meanwhile, this little gem is looking pretty in pink and happy in the garden.  I’m inspired to plant many more.

Further Reading:


10 thoughts on “Cyclamen: Pretty in Pink

  1. Gosh, it’s so true that you learn something every day. Who’d have thought the gorgeous cyclamen is an endangered plant in its native habitat. You’re right – we see so many of them for sale that it’s astonishing really. I do worry a lot about losing touch with what’s going on in the natural world. But, you’re certainly doing your bit with that lovely pink specimen flourishing in your garden. I hope your other plants survive the frost onslaught! My plants slowly bounced back from bad frosts in our winter this year. Keep warm x


    • Thank you, Dani!

      Do you know I had one of those dreams last night where a variety of things filter in and out, but you were there in one of them. You’ve left quite an impression and now travel in my dreams!

      I’m happy to hear your plants bounced back after the frost. I’ve seen that as well, so will hope for the best. Many of our perennials are doing just fine. The annuals (like the peas) wouldn’t last anyway, but it was sad to see them hit so early. They were producing beautifully up until a week ago.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your always-thoughtful comments.


  2. I did not know that either – for some reason it is not a plant I am overly attracted to, possibly because they grew like weeds in my first garden 🙂 But your pretty pink specimen, though ever so slightly frost nipped is standing bravely and may make me change my mind!!


    • “Grew like weeds….” be still my heart! Funny how familiarity can breed contempt…or so the saying goes. I’m really pleased the pink one came back this year. Some years I”ll set aside five or six corms, but a handful simply deteriorate. I had five or six red and white ones from last year, but only one of those is resurfacing. I’ll let you know what color it is when it blooms.



  3. All interesting stuff Alys. I had no idea the ones at the market were different than the garden variety. Your’s is really pretty. They seem so delicate, it’s surprising they managed thru frost. I’ve tried to grow a white one in the house but had no luck. I think the central heating we must use all winter didn’t jive with it and it’s so dry here all winter too. My skin is really starting to feel it. Copious amounts of moisturizer and lots of water is barely maintaining.

    It’s frightening to know even plants are becoming extinct, it’s never been on my radar really. I’ve seen some sites that sell heirloom seeds and maybe you’ve had an article here too. I guess because we see a variety in the market, I would have never guessed. Will you plant another pink one or a new colour?


    • I didn’t realize this either. I’ve learned so much since keeping a blog. Something new always.

      I’m glad you like the pretty pinks. I have a red and white one from last year. They’ve leafed out, but they haven’t flowered yet. It is amazing how they like the cold.

      I think you’re right about the heat in the winter. It’s just too much for these plants. After seven days of frost here in San Jose, our heater has been working hard. All my house plants are suddenly so dry.

      I’m with you on the dry skin and need to drink more water (less diet Pepsi). I’ve concluded that changing one’s eating habits is among the hardest things to do.

      I agree that the idea of extinct plants is frightening. In fact, one of the big concerns with deforesting the amazon rain forests was the loss of plants with medicinal properties. Conversely, there is also a problem with invasive plants. They move in and overtake the native plants. We’ve messed with our beautiful planet, haven’t we?

      I probably will plant more in pink. Just not as easy to find this time of year.


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