Cyclamen Coum

My parents gave us two pots of Cyclamen coum ‘Maurice Dryden’ towards the end of last year. They were bought for us the previous year, and while waiting for our garden to be ready for planting, they stood the two pots in their own garden in a shady patch of soil at the feet of a cherry tree. On a recent visit, I was shown the spot where they had stood before they came to us, and the dozens of tiny seedlings that had leapt up all around the space they had vacated.

Cyclamen coum 'Maurice Dryden' offspring

We came home with a tray filled with a sample of the offspring; on some of these tiny plants, you could already see the beginnings of a tuber, a tiny nodule forming at the base of their stalk, which was intriguing.  These pots stood a little way away from other varieties of Cyclamen growing in my parents’ garden, but I am not sure whether they will come true.

Cyclamen coum seedlings planted out

I planted these tiny waifs around the foot of our mature birch tree the following day, with minimal handling, hoping that they will thrive in the dry shade of the tree. Their parent plants, whose flowers I have been enjoying in their pots on the patio, I intend to plant out in the ground once we remove the stack of broken wooden pallets at the foot of the horse chestnut and beech trees. This is another area of dry shade that I have earmarked for a selection of woodland plants, ideal for cyclamen. Having seen for myself how readily these plants self-seeded the outlying area, it seems a waste to stand them on paving, and so while waiting for their permanent home I have moved them to stand upon the earth nearby.

Cyclamen coum 'Maurice Dryden'

I will be quite happy if they propagate themselves in this area, amid the pulmonarias and hellebores that I have already planted out here, others of which also stand in pots waiting for the neighbouring area to be cleared and dug over. I don’t think we could ever have too many of these plants, with their beautiful leaves and elegant flowers.


18 thoughts on “Cyclamen Coum

  1. Very pretty pastels are yours. I guess dry shade is the clue here as have witnessed so many rotting at the coum – (thanks for that , thought they were corms). Astounded by the seedlings – assumed they came ready-to-bloom from Homebase 😉

    • They are beautiful. Ah, ‘coum’ is the species, but they do form a corm or tuber underground. A little confusing. The mass of seedlings was a sight to behold – literally a green carpet. I wish I’d had a camera with me then. I wonder if they will do the same here, I hope so, though even our dry shade has heavy clay soil so they may still rot in our garden.

    • Ah no, coum is the name of a species of the cyclamen genus. Cyclamen coum, C. hederifolium and C. purpurascens are the three hardiest species, therefore those we tend to grow in the garden. The similarity between the words coum and corm are purely incidental. Actually I think although we often refer to cyclamen as having corms, they’re more technically tubers.
      I hope they settle into our garden.

  2. I hope they are successful in self-seeding for you. It’s wonderful to see the tiny leaves and ‘cormlets’ of the new plants. I’m sure I once heard on tv that the seeds are dispersed by ants. Never actually seen them doing this in my garden but the seed is spreading somehow!

  3. We have a colony of white Cyclamen hederafolia which has been passed through my mother’s family for generations.With us, they were planted in the short grass and dappled shade under some mature oaks just outside the garden.They must like it here, as they have spread into the garden and the hedge. I always look out for them with melancholy autumnal anticipation.

  4. I love cyclamen and want them in great pools in the dry shade at the end of the side garden. I have two small puddles now and would give my eye teeth for them to seed like those! They look wonderfully prolific. I am interested to find another gardener in Wales gardening up a hill although I am in North Wales to your South. It is a particular kind of gardening we do at height!

    • Sounds like a wonderful vision. The prolific self-seeding happened in my parents’ garden in the south of England, though, on very different soil to ours. I hope they settle in here half as well.
      Hills do have their own magic and mysteries don’t they? Although we’re on our hilltop, we’re in sight of the Severn Channel so don’t have too extreme an altitude to battle with here as well. We do have our own micro-climate here though, usually involving more wind and higher temperatures than anywhere else nearby!
      I look forward to following your hilltop adventures in North Wales too!

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