Cyclamen hederifolium


Cyclamen

Detailed histories of little things.

Plant of the Day was inspired by the Plant of the Week presentations that all interns at Kew Gardens do each week. I couldn’t help going slightly overboard with it, illustrating my handouts with drawings that I did in the garden after work. We had to bring one page of pertinent information and a sample of the plant if possible (some specimens can’t be picked, ask your section manager). Ivy-leaved cyclamen was one of the last plants I chose while I was there. It’s really one of the most lovely plants in the world. Before the leaves come up in autumn, the flower stalks uncurl and bloom bright white or pink. The reflexed petals each have a slight twist. The stamen is exert, meaning it sticks out just slightly past the petals. Once the flower is pollinated, the stem coils protectively around it and lowers it to the ground. Then the dark green leaves come up, patterned with white and silver.

My cyclamen house plant came into my life suddenly via Home Depot. I picked it up for about $3.99 on my way to a reception for Judd fellows where we had to briefly speak about our internship experience to patrons, university people, and parents, both divorced and not. I also brought a little blue campanula. I just wanted examples of the plants I had worked with there next to my display board. Because É’s mom had told me about her success with indoor cyclamen, I kept it once it was finished blooming. All summer it was outside in one of my tufa planters. I potted it up and brought it here when I moved and now it’s blooming yet again. Just today I noticed its scent, Lily-of-the-valley with a hint of lemon Pledge.

About Mulysa

I love my work as a landscape designer and artist. When I'm not planning homesteads or working in the studio, you'll find me hiking, photographing, gardening, baking, cooking vegetarian meals with friends, reading and working on sustainability issues...with my baby on my hip in Portland, Oregon.
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