Cyclamen balearicum -  as expected this is from the Balearic Islands - but it also occurs in southern France. It's one of a handful of species I've seen in the wild. It was growing up in the hills in rocks. It was in leaf but no flowers as it was probably May.


Balearicum is one of the repandum complex along with repandum, rhodense and creticum. They all tend to hybridise and I have suspicions about most of the plants I have from seed. I tend to only be sure of the ones that are the most distinct with blue green leaves and flowers with delicate lilac lines on the flower. Probably I have other plants which are genuine balearicum but without access to some kind of DNA testing I play safe.


I am rather fond of the plant. Overall it's one of the smaller species, the leaves can be large in comparison with the spring flowers which tend to be a bit dumpy. It has a lovely fragrance. I find it comes easily from seed. I grow it under the staging in the greenhouse in shade - sadly I find it tends to lose vigour after a few years so I need to have a supply of young plants.




Mark Griffiths Inspiring Plants