Cyclamen is a genus of flowering plants of in the family Myrsinaceae.
There are 23 species of cyclamens.
They are native to the Middle East and southern and central Europe, and one species in Somalia.
It was traditionally classified in the family Primulaceae, was reclassified in the family Myrsinaceae in 2000.
Cyclamens are grown widely for their showy flowers.
The plants grow from a tuber (a short underground stem) and have no stem aboveground.
Long-stalked, roundish, or kidney-shaped leaves, often variously marked, grow from the base.
Cyclamens bloom in different seasons, depending on the species. Solitary flowers grow on stalks less than 30 centimeters (12 inches) tall. The flower has 5 petals and they are going to face upward. The petals are going to be white, purple, pink, or sometime really dark.
After flowering, the flower stalk often twists into a spiral, so bringing the capsular fruit close to the ground; this will give off the seeds so that it grows more and more of the cyclamen for the next season.
The good thing with the Cyclamen is that you can grow these flowers indoors and outdoors.
The cyclamen flower is also known as the sowbread or the Persian violet.
Its name, which for once is identical in Latin and English, is transcribed from the Greek word kuklaminos, derived from kuklos, meaning “circle”: it refers to the round and flattened shape of its tuber. We can also see an allusion here to the nicely curved shape that the floral peduncles take.
In antiquity, the cyclamen was recognised for its therapeutic virtues, due to the presence of cyclamine, a bitter substance with purgative powers. It is a basic remedy in homoeopathy for depression, hidden sorrows, or when one is turned in on oneself.
The cyclamen was, with the columbine, one of the flowers of choice for Leonardo Da Vinci at the beginning of the 16th century, and he covered the margins of his manuscripts with it.
The 17th century Flemish painters scattered cyclamens on the meadows where Jesus had just picked some flowers under the watchful eye of the angels.
Louis XIV received them in bunches, along with many other flowers, to flower the lounges of Versailles.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau spoke in his Promenades of the wild cyclamens he discovered in the Alps.
Cyclamen species are eaten by the caterpillars of The Gothic moth.