Cyclamen coum

Persian violet

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Cyclamen coum is one of the most delightful of winter blooming plants. This tuberous plant is native to the Mediterranean so it is summer dormant. Foliage begins to appear in late autumn and early winter. Silver-dollar-sized foliage can range from dark green to solid silver and will remain attractive well into spring. Flowers vary from white to magenta and a range of pinks. All have amethyst stained markings at the base of the petals. Flowers will appear as early as December with the main display being in February and early March.This is one the few plants that will tolerate the dense shade of Douglas firs and western red cedars, as well as the competitive, dry shade of beech and maple root zones. Cyclamen coum is drought resistant as it is dormant in the dry season. It will naturalize and spreads slowly by seed. The seeds are coated with a sugary coating that the ants like and will carry away and plant. It is excellent in combination with other early blooming bulbs, Hellebrus hybridus (Lenten rose), and Helleborus niger (Christmas rose).

Quick Facts

Plant Type: bulb

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 0 ft. 6 in. (0.15 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 0 ft. 6 in. (0.15 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 9

Flower Color: pink, white

Sun/Light Exposure: light, open, dappled, or deep shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established

Wildlife Associations: bees

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: chartreuse, black, bronze

Great Color Partners: silver, dark green

Culture Notes
This hardy winter bloomer will grow well in light to deep shade.Plant it in a well-drained or sandy soil. Once established it is drought tolerant. Seed is scattered around the garden by ants; watch for the tiny seedlings to sprout in late fall.