Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Hardy Cyclamen, Ivy-leaved Cyclamen
Cyclamen hederifolium

Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Cyclamen (SIGH-kla-men) (Info)
Species: hederifolium (hed-er-ih-FOH-lee-um) (Info)

Synonym:Cyclamen albiflorum
Synonym:Cyclamen hederifolium f. albiflorum
Synonym:Cyclamen neapolitanum
Synonym:Cyclamen poli
Synonym:Cyclamen romanum

9 vendors have this plant for sale.

41 members have or want this plant for trade.

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under 6 in. (15 cm)
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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6 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Secateurs On Feb 12, 2013, Secateurs from Milford, CT wrote:

Has anyone had experience growing C. Hederifolium from seed? Were they difficult to prick out when startd close together? I have a small small pot of seedings (1 leaf) that i would like to separate. Has anyone made a potting that they have found to be especially successful?

Positive Erutuon On Apr 12, 2011, Erutuon from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

During winter 2009-10, I raised ivy-leaved cyclamens from seed. The next spring, I planted three of them outdoors in the shady area between our house and the next. They didn't completely go dormant in summer, because of the cool temperatures but produced a good number of leaves for first-year plants.

This winter (2010-11), they survived with no significant damage from freezing. This is probably due to the large snowfall (2 feet) that protected them through the whole winter (strawberry saxifrage too, which is supposed to be too tender for our winters), but hopefully they will survive less snowy winters as well!

Three years ago (the fall of 2008) I bought tubers and planted them, but they were planted too late, and prevented from settling in by squirrels digging them up over and over. They didn't survive the winter, and their tubers were mush from freezing. Since then, I've learned to plant them earlier so that they are more ready for winter!

This winter (2011-12) all the Cyclamen hederifolium plants that were outside in the ground died. The winter was not very cold (it only reached -11, according to WolframAlpha), but there was hardly any snow, which must have allowed the tubers to freeze and refreeze and turn to mush. So I've removed my zipcode. One plant out of five in the courtyard of the U of M Biological Sciences greenhouse, where I planted a few in pots sunk into the ground, survived, however, presumably since the greenhouses surrounding the courtyard give it a milder microclimate.

I've got one cyclamen left in a pot, which I will now keep inside, in case our next winter is also relatively snowless. I will try growing Cyclamen purpurascens outside instead, since I know of a few people who grow it successfully in Minnesota.

Positive soldiersong On Nov 11, 2010, soldiersong from North Plains, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

Grows well in my shade garden. Reliable and carefree, it is a lovely addition to my winter garden, which is when it flowers here.

It is growing in light shade in clay soil and is thriving.

Positive nevadagdn On Mar 28, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant likes dry shade and patience. It takes a while for a corm to become a respectable plant.

Positive JaxFlaGardener On Mar 13, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've had about five of these cyclamens around the drip line of a dogwood tree for about 2 years. With a covering of hay, some of them retain their leaves through the winter (28 F was our coldest night here this winter). I've not yet seen the profuse blooms that others have reported here. I usually only have two to three flowers at a time on each corm. I hope they will produce more blooms as they become better aclimated to my garden.

I've read elsewhere that they don't like to be disturbed once they are rooted, but I've transplanted mine once to put them into the current location and there was no problem in moving them. They continue to grow and flower.

I've also read that they prefer good drainage and don't like to be kept wet and soggy. Our northeast Florida sandy soil seems to work well to keep their planting area on the dry side.

When I first planted them, there were no directions from the source as to how to plant them. The corm is smooth and convex (slightly domed) on one side and somewhat rough and concave on the other. I think it turned out that the rough, concave side needed to be facing up when planted, but I'm still confused! They grew both ways, but do best, of course, when planted with the root side down and the stem side up. Perhaps those with more experience can provide the instructions here for which side is up?

I do hope my cyclamens will spread. They provide a very interesting accent around the dogwood tree.

Positive Phaltyme On Sep 21, 2003, Phaltyme from Garden City, MI (Zone 6b) wrote:

Thank you dear people for answering all my questions ( in my mind, so far) concerning these wonderful plants. I saw several at my daughter's and was really impressed. I really didn't know where to buy them but finally found a place that specializes in alpines and assorted small plants. Came home with five. C. hederifolium and hederifolium alba both of which are blooming now. I didn't know anything about plant habit or anything, your posts tells me what I need to know. I am in Zone 5b. Thanks again.

Positive wnstarr On Sep 20, 2003, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

One of the loveliest of small bulbs/tubers. Spreads rapidly providing a groundcover under azaleas and rhododendrons. Blooms heavy in the Spring with the foliage present, then dies down only to return with just flowers in the Fall. Spreads by self sowing seeds. Can be lifted and divided to start new areas. Very hardy, seems resistant to most all bugs. Prefers well drained soil and morning sun/or filtered.

Neutral Baa On Jan 11, 2003, Baa wrote:

Cyclamen hederifolium forma albiflorum to give this little plant it's full and rather long name.

This form is like Cyclamen hederifolium in every way with the exception that the reflexed petals are a pure white with no basal markings.

This little chap perfectly compliments it's close relative or makes a wonderful drift of colour when everything else in the garden is fading.

A real little gem and well worth a space in the garden.

Neutral Baa On Jan 11, 2003, Baa wrote:

A small perennial from Southern Europe and Turkey.

Has triangular, deep green, sometimes toothed leaves much marbled with silver grey and sometimes having a purple underside, that can persist through winter. Bears small, pink flowers with 5 reflexed petals with a darker pink marking on the base of each petal. Flowers may be scented but you'll have to get on your knees to smell them. The whole plant originates from a flattened round tuber.

Flowers mainly August - November

Loves a well drained, fertile soil in light shade. May need some mulch after the leaves die down in cold climates. Dislikes a lot of moisture especially when dormant in summer, placing them under shrubs could help to avoid that kind of soil condition.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 31, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This hardy cyclamen typically grows 4-6" tall and features pink or white tinged with pink flowers (2" long) with a darker eye and with reflexed petals. Blooms somewhat profusely in late summer into fall, one flower per stem. Extremely attractive, ivy-shaped, mottled leaves are variably colored, but usually gray-green with silver and white marbling. The flower stalks typically rise up late summer to early fall and are followed by the foliage which persists through winter and goes dormant in late spring. Sometimes sold as C. neapolitanum.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chico, California
Merced, California
Vallejo, California
Grand Junction, Colorado
East Haddam, Connecticut
Jacksonville, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
South Bend, Indiana
Millersville, Maryland
Lindstrom, Minnesota
Sparks, Nevada
Brooklyn, New York
Oakland Gardens, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Greenville, North Carolina
Dublin, Ohio
Powell, Ohio
Dallas, Oregon
North Plains, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Sherwood, Oregon
Spring Grove, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Dallas, Texas
Kerrville, Texas
Marble Falls, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Tyler, Texas
Clarksville, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Bellevue, Washington
Lakewood, Washington
Monroe, Washington
Mountlake Terrace, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Puyallup, Washington
Seattle, Washington

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