Sowbread - Cyclamen hederifolium

Alternative names
Cyclamen neapolitanum

Cyclamen hederifolium has pink flowers with a purple-magenta V-shaped blotch at the base of each petal. There is also a white flowered form which is now common in cultivation, but scarce in the wild. The flowers appear either before, or with, the young leaves which are often ivy-like as suggested by the specific epithet. However, the plant is very variable and the leaves can be every shape from almost orbicular to lanceolate. Leaves vary from dull or bright plain green to plain silver with various forms of hastate pattern in between, with the pattern in silver, grey, cream or merely a different colour green. The tuber roots from its top surface and sides.

Similar Species

Other species of Cyclamen may naturalise; C coum and C repandum are spring-flowering 

Identification difficulty

Preferring moist loamy soil, often in shaded places or on disturbed ground.

When to see it

The flowers appear between August and October.

Life History

Tuberous-rooted perennial.

UK Status

Widespread but occasional mainly occurring in the southern half of Britain.

VC55 Status

Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland. It was not recorded in the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire.

In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Rare; neophyte

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map