Sunday, December 11, 2011

Exotic

I'm not really here, but let's pretend I am anyway so I can show you this neat plant:



This is a cyclamen, a cousin of the primrose, which is sold as a decorative plant during the winter holidays. This is also when it blooms.



From what I've read (and don't quote me on any of this; I'm by no means an expert) cyclamen are grown from a tuber (I'm assuming in the same way you grow paperwhites from a bulb or sweet potato vines from a sweet potato) and flower from December through April. They shrivel and go dormant from April until August, at which point you can replant the corm (the dried-up tuber) and grow another cyclamen for the holidays.



I spotted this one at my local grocery store and fell in love with it instantly (hence the pics.) The red and green colors are even more intense than a pointsettia and the flowers remind me a lot of orchids. Even the buds made me think of tiny swans.

Because I didn't recognize the plant, I went home to read up on the species first; I do like to know what I'm buying. Then I went back to purchase it -- only to find someone else had already snatched it up. So now I'll have to look for another one.

If you give plants as gifts during the holidays, this would probably make a gardener friend very happy.

4 comments:

  1. Cyclamens are quite common down here in New Zealand. They're often for sale in pots at plant nurseries and supermarkets. Once they finish flowering we plant them outside in the garden. They grow happily and multiply each year. Most of the cyclamen plants in our garden flower in spring, but some of them keep flowering throughout the year. They come in various shades of pink and mauve plus white. They're one of my favorites.

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  2. They are also very common here in the Pacfic NW, and I had several plants in the garden in Scotland as well. When I was a kid (in the PNW) my Mom always had one or two growing in the house as she loved the colors.

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  3. Here in Germany, cyclamens are among the most common houseplants. The popular name is "Alpenveilchen", violet of the Alps.

    My birthday is in April, my Mom's in March and we often get a potted cyclamen as a gift. I quite like them, but they're quite tender and don't like warm rooms.

    The colour of yours is very unusual, though. The most common colours are variations of pink and purple as well as white.

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  4. GayLee10:24 PM

    I've never seen one that lovely orange/peach color. I can't count how many times I have restrained myself from buying a plant, only to change my mind, return and find it and any like it gone. I'm not sure if it saves me from spending money I shouldn't or frustrates me because I'm indecisive.

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