With their delicate white and pink flowers, cyclamen are a firm favourite with many of our visitors here at Wakehurst.
Stepping out of the Visitor Centre into the gardens, you are greeted with swathes of this beautiful flower.
There more than 20 species of Cyclamen found in countries around the Mediterranean and spreading north to the Alps, but most need greenhouse conditions to thrive.
At Wakehurst we have chosen three species which perform particularly well here in the southeast England climate.
During the depths of winter it is Cyclamen coum, with its pink or white flowers that look truly magnificent. Originating from Turkey, this species has a smaller and daintier flower than other types, with shorter petals and rounder leaves.
In March and April it is Cyclamen repandum, from southern France and Italy, that produces tall elegant flowers of deep pink, often with gently spiralling petals. This species is the last to flower in spring with delicate pointed leaves that will not tolerate exposure to strong sunlight. For this reason, it is best planted in shadier areas.
In August, the shuttlecock flowers of Cyclamen hederifolium get their moment in the sun. This species originates from Greece and Turkey.
The marbled and patterned leaves develop from mid-October onwards. These then stay on the plant until May the following year, making this a great choice for a lightly shaded site. Their tolerance of dry conditions makes it ideal to plant under deciduous trees, where they cover the ground for nine months of the year and self-seed to make an even bigger display.
Create your own display with these top tips from our experts.
Browse our Visitor Centre shop for a range of cyclamen plants to take home and enjoy.