Alpine (Cyclamen purpurascens) is a tuberous perennial, flowering plant. The blossoms and leaves come from buds at the top of a round-flattened tuber. Roots originate from the sides and bottom. Older tubers may become distorted, forming fingers with separate growth points. Flowers appear before or with the leaves and have 5 upswept petals. The blossoms are sweetly scented, ranging in color from pale rose-pink to purple or rose-carmine and are 17 to 25 mm long. Petals are elliptical and twisted, often curled into auricles, although less prominent than those of Cyclamen hederifolium. Leaves are kidney-shaped to heart-shaped, as wide as long or wider. The leaf edge is smooth or slightly toothed, unlike the closely related species Cyclamen colchicum, which is always prominently toothed. Leaf color varies from all-green to all-silver, but the most common pattern is green with light green to silver marbling that roughly follows the outline of the leaf. The underside is red-purple. After fertilization, the flower stem coils tightly, starting at the end. Seeds, amber when ripe, are held in a round pod, which ripens the summer a year after blossoming and opens by 5-10 flaps.
Species: C. purpurascens
Scientific Name: Cyclamen purpurascens
Synonyms: Cyclamen europaeum
Common Names: Alpine, European or purple cyclamen.
How to grow and maintain Alpine (Cyclamen purpurascens):
It flourishes best in bright light without direct sunlight. If conditions are too dark the flowers are more sporadic and if things are too bright the flowers and leaves can become faded.
It grows well in moist, well-drained, fertile organic soil with a mix of sand.
It prefers cool temperatures from 50°F/10°C – 65°F/18°C are ideal. Do not expose to temperatures below 10°C (50°F).
Water once or twice weekly once the cyclamen begins putting on new growth in fall. Supply enough moisture so the soil doesn’t dry out completely, but avoid overwatering that causes soggy soil. Irrigation for dormant summer-planted tubers is rarely necessary until new growth begins.
Humidity levels are best if they’re improved by placing the plant in a pebble humidity tray or using other methods of increasing levels.
Fertilize once every two weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half while the plant has flowers and foliage.
It can be easily propagated by seed, in darkness as soon as ripe at 12 to 15°C. Can be beneficial to soak seed for 10 hours prior to sowing.
Re-pot with fresh soil and a slightly larger pot while the plant is dormant. Cyclamen does the best planted in a soil-based potting mix, with the top of the tuber just slightly above the soil line.
Pests and Diseases:
It has no serious pest or disease problems.