We are lucky here in southern Victoria that we are able to grow many of the species cyclamen. I do wonder why the main nurseries here tend to only stock Cyclamen persicum hybrids. While the species may have smaller flowers some are easier to grow then the “florist hybrids” and you can have a mix of species for flowering most of the year. And who doesn’t love a cyclamen seedling popping up in the most unexpected of places (thanks to the ants)? Cyclamen purpurascens (above) not only flowers throughout the warmer months but also has a lovely fragrance.
There’s no need for me to “reinvent the wheel” by posting information here about the many species in cultivation because I’ve found a great article on the Plants Delights Nursery website. It gives you a good introduction to hardy cyclamen: https://www.plantdelights.com/blogs/articles/cyclamen
As for obtaining these cyclamen here in Australia, your best bet is to source the seed from overseas. You could try the member seed exchanges from the international societies (Scottish Rock Garden Club, AlpineGarden Society, Cyclamen Society, etc.) or there is a specialist nursery in the Netherlands (https://green-ice-nursery.nl/). Or you could speak to members of our society during our meetings to see if they have spares that they could share or swap. Attending our meetings does have its benefits!
Just make sure before ordering any seed from overseas that the species is on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources “Permitted for sowing” list, found here: Bicon
You can also purchase flowering size Cyclamen hederifolium and C. coum from Australian mail order nursery J.N. Hancock & Co. While they specialise in daffodils they also sell other “spring bulbs” (minimum order value is $49). Download the current catalogue and mail order form from here: http://www.daffodilbulbs.com.au/catalogue.html (Australian residents only).
And finally, if you’ve thought about attending our meetings in the past but have never made it, make 2017 your year! Our first meeting for the year will be on 25 February at 8pm – Jill will be talking about Anemones. How can you resist that?
(photos by Viv)