The genus contains 23 species that are native primarily to the Mediterranean region: Greece, Italy, Cypress, Crete, Turkey, Lebanon and Israel (where they are the national flower).
They are all are tuberous, herbaceous, perennials that grow from either flattened, pancake-like or round tubers. On most species, new leaves appear in the fall or winter and rise only 2-4″ above the soil. They last until the following summer and then die off while the tuber goes summer dormant. Flower stalks rise directly from the tuber.
Cyclamen coum and Cyclamen hederifolium are the most commonly grown garden species although many other are used as house plants.
Books to Consider
Name Derivation: From the Greek kyklos, meaning circle, wheel or ring; referring to the twisted flower stalks of some species
Common Name: Cyclamen
Cyclamen is in the family Primulaceae.