Cyclamen persicum

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Cyclamen persicum
Yagur – Nesher, the Green Path – Mount Carmel 016.JPG
A typical wild form along the green path between Yagur and Nesher, Israel
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Cyclamen
Species: C. persicum
Binomial name
Cyclamen persicum
Mill.

Cyclamen persicum, the Persian cyclamen, is a species of flowering herbaceous perennial plant growing from a tuber, native to rocky hillsides, shrubland, and woodland up to 1,200 m (3,900 ft) above sea level, from south-central Turkey to Israel and Jordan. It also grows in Algeria and Tunisia and on the Greek islands of Rhodes, Karpathos, and Crete, where it may have been introduced by monks. Cultivars of this species are the commonly seen florist's cyclamen.

Description[edit]

Wild plants have heart-shaped leaves, up to 14 cm (6 in) usually green with lighter marbling on the upper surface.

Flowers bloom from winter to spring (var. persicum) or in autumn (var. autumnale) and have 5 small sepals and 5 upswept petals, usually white to pale pink with a band of deep pink to magenta at the base. After pollination, the flower stem curls downwards slightly as the pod develops, but does not coil as in other cyclamens. Plants go dormant in summer.

Varieties and forms[edit]

There are two natural varieties and several named forms, distinguished by flowering time and predominant petal color.

  • C. persicum var. persicum (winter- and spring-flowering — all of range)
  • C. persicum var. persicum f. persicum (white to pale pink)
  • C. persicum var. persicum f. albidum (pure white)
  • C. persicum var. persicum f. roseum (rose-pink)
  • C. persicum var. persicum f. puniceum (red to carmine)
  • C. persicum var. autumnale (autumn-flowering)

Cultivars[edit]

Cyclamen persicum cultivars in a Californian nursery operated by Japanese horticulturalists

The following is a selection of cultivars. All are frost-tender, and best grown under glass in temperate regions:-

  • 'Concerto Apollo'[1]
  • 'Halios Bright Fuchsia'[2]
  • 'Halios Violet'[3]
  • 'Halios White'[4]
  • 'Laser Rose'[5]
  • 'Laser Salmon with Eye'[6]
  • 'Laser Scarlet'[7]
  • 'Laser White'[8]
  • 'Miracle Deep Rose'[9]
  • 'Miracle White'[10]
  • 'Sierra Fuchsia'[11]
  • 'Sierra Light Purple'[12]
  • 'Sierra Pink with Eye'[13]
  • 'Sierra Scarlet'[14]
  • 'Sierra White with Eye'[15]

Uses[edit]

Cyclamen persicum has a dark-brown tuberous root which is semi-poisonous. In some cultures, the tubers were used in making soap, as they generate a lather when mixed with water.[16] The Bedouins of Mandate Palestine used to collect the root, and after grating it, would mix it with lime and sprinkle it over the surface of lakes or other large bodies of water known to contain fish. These poisonous mixtures would stun fish, which would then come to the surface and be collected by the fishermen. Such methods, as well as fishing with explosives, which came into use in the early 20th century, were banned by the British Mandate authorities.[17]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cyclamen 'Concerto Apollo'". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cyclamen 'Halios Bright Fuchsia'". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cyclamen 'Halios Violet'". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cyclamen 'Halios White'". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cyclamen 'Laser Rose'". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cyclamen 'Laser Salmon with Eye'". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cyclamen 'Laser Scarlet'". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cyclamen 'Laser White'". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cyclamen 'Miracle Deep Rose'". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cyclamen 'Miracle White'". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cyclamen 'Sierra Fuchsia'". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cyclamen 'Sierra Light Purple'". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cyclamen 'Sierra Pink with Eye'". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cyclamen 'Sierra Scarlet'". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cyclamen 'Sierra White with Eye'". Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  16. ^ Theophrastus, Enquiry into Plants, the Loeb Classical Library edition, vol. ii, London 1916, p. 263
  17. ^ Aref Abu-Rabia, Bedouin Century (Education and Development among the Negev Tribes in the Twentieth Century), New-York 2001, p. 47 (ISBN 978-1-57181-832-4)

External links[edit]