At this time of year, cyclamen - or alpine violet - is one of the most beautiful plants around. It can brighten up the scene in the home, or on the terrace or balcony, right up until the frost sets in.
Cyclamen is not just cyclamen
Originally it was the beautiful pink flowers of the alpine violet, the Latin name of which is Cyclamen persicum, which gave its name to the colour cyclamen. But today, you don't need to make do with just cyclamen-coloured alpine violets, because with the exception of white, the plant can be found in all shades of colour from pale pink to dark violet. In some types, the flower's centre has an aberrant, darker colour than the rest of the flower.
Maxi, mini and micro
In the world of fashion, dress lengths tend to alternate between maxi, midi and mini, and in the same way, you can choose between maxi, mini and micro cyclamen plants.
Just as you can change your style and look through your choice of clothing, the many different colours and sizes of cyclamen provide a wealth of opportunities to create variation and innovation in your home, depending on the number of plants and their styling. The expression changes according to how you place cyclamen. Arranging several plants in an exciting pot gives a lush expression, while plants in a row produce a simpler, more elegant look.
Cyclamen bellflower is cool
The horticultural nursery Gartneriet Anderuplund in Odense, which has one of the biggest ranges of cyclamen, has chosen to specialise in the cyclamen variety 'Bellissima Big Bells', or cyclamen bellflower, as the plant is also known because of its bell-like flowers. Helle Munch, co-partner at the nursery, says:
"You can't compare Big Bells with an ordinary cyclamen in terms of appearance. Big Bells does not bloom in the same way as traditional cyclamen - it's the bell shape that makes it cool."
Thrives in cool temperatures
Alpine violets are tubers that grow best in a bright spot. To avoid getting rot in the tuber, it is best to water them in the saucer. You should avoid placing the plant in a window above a radiator, as it thrives best in cool temperatures.