Cretan Sowbread, Cyclamen creticum

Cyclamen creticum is a perennial herb species; perennial meaning long lasting. The species may also be commonly referred to as the Cretan Sowbread. The small plant is a member of the Primulaceae family. Although not official, some authorities refer to C. creticum as a subspecies of the Cyclamen repandum species.

C. creticum grows only approximately 5.91 inches tall. Its leaves are more wide than long and appear heart-shaped. The species’ leaves are deep green and have a red/purple underside. Patterns may be seen on the leaf’s surface. The species produces two different forms; one form produces pure white flowers, while the other produces flowers in various shades of pink. Between April and May the flowers appear, each growing singularly. Flowers have 5 petals and give off a strong fragrance.

C. creticum grows on rocky ground, commonly on stream and river banks or under larger bushes. It grows best in shaded areas, protected from the sun. The species can only be found naturally growing in the Greek Islands, Crete and Karpathos. The plant will only grow up to 4,265 feet above sea level.

Image Caption: Cretan Sowbread, (Cyclamen creticum). Credit: H. Zell/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)