Persian cyclamen, Cyclamen persicum

Cyclamen persicum is a flowering, herbaceous plant from the Myrsinaceae family. It is commonly referred to as the Persian cyclamen.

C. persicum is a tuberous plant. A tuber is a modified plant structure that is enlarged to store nutrients. The flowers and leaves come from buds at the top of the tuber. Roots emerge from the sides and bottom.

Wild specimens have heart-shaped leaves that grow as long as 6 inches. They are usually green in color, with a light green marbling effect on the upper surface. Its flowers bloom from winter to spring, or in autumn. The plants have 5 small sepals and 5 petals and its colors range from white to pale pink with a marking of deep magenta or pink at its base. The plants go dormant in the summer.

C. persicum is indigenous from south-central Turkey to Israel and Jordan. It had also been found in Algeria and Tunisia on the Greek Islands of Rhodes, Karpathos and Crete. It grows on rocky hillsides, shrubland, and woodland areas.

Image Caption: Persian cyclamen, (Cyclamen persicum). Credit: Hanay/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)