Cyclamen purpurascens Mill. - syn. Cyclamen europaeum L. - Primulaceae
European cyclamen, Alpine cyclamen, hardy cyclamen, Europäisches Alpenveilchen, Wildes Alpenveilchen, Erdscheibe
Evergreen or deciduous perennial, up to 15cm high, native to Middle Europe (Alps), Southeastern Europe; tuber round-flattened (like a 'bread'), leaves and flowers come from buds at the top; leaves heart-shaped, green with light green to silver marbling; flowers pale rose-pink to purple, petals 17-25mm, twisted.
„The round patterned leaves and dark pink fragrant flowers spring alive in June and continue into August, adding great color to the summer woodland garden. In colder climates, great drainage in the winter is key to good survival. This species does not go dormant and retains its leaves throughout the year.“ http://www.plantdelights.com/Article/Cold-Hardy-Cyclamen
„Forma „album“ has white flowers, though it is more difficult to establish. 'Lake Garda' has silver leaves and pink flowers… Because of the cool and moist climate in the plant's native range, it is almost evergreen: new leaves appear in summer while the old leaves are fading. All other cyclamens, except for the closely related Cyclamen colchicum, are summer-dormant in their native range.“ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclamen_purpurascens
„The flowers of C.purpurascens (2n=34) are the most fragrant among the 20 species in the genus cyclamen. Although C.purpurascens has been grown among gardening devotees, unlike C.persicum it has not developed into a major commercial plant… Flowers of C.purpurascens had a rose- or hyacinth-like fragrance.“
The headspace of the flowers (species from the Cyclamen Society of the UK), trapped on Tenax TA, contained citronellol (17.8%), (E)-cinnamic alcohol (9.1%), methyl decanoate (4.9%), decane (3.7%), geraniol (3.0%), limonene (2.0%), linalool (1.6%), cinnamic aldehyde (1.2%), β-pinene (1.1%), and methyl citronellate (1.1%), as main components. Minor ones were eg. menthol, α-terpineol, benzyl alcohol, 3-phenylpropyl alcohol, nonanal, citronellal, geranyl acetone, methyl octanoate, methyl benzoate, benzyl acetate, methyl anisate, and phenol.
[Volatile compounds in the flowers of Cyclamen persicum, C. purpurascens and their hybrids., Ishizaka, H., Yamada, H., Sasaki, K., Scientia horticulturae, 94(1), 2002, 125-135]
The strong and attractive rosy-floral scent of wild cyclamen growing in the Alps is based on linalool (12.5%), citronellol (30.5%), nerol (1.6%), geraniol (13.9%), citronellal (0.5%), neral (0.1%), geranial (0.2%), (E)-2,3-dihydrofarnesal (0.4%), (E)-2,3-dihydrofarnesol (1.1%), (E,E)-farnesol (11.2%), and (E)-cinnamic alcohol (0.2%). „…somewhere between the scents of centifolia rose and lily of the valley. Minor amounts of decano-4-lactone, methyl citronellate, and prenyl benzoate finally give the twist to the unmistakable scent of Cyclamen purpurascens, a knowledge also applicable in the creation of fragrances.“
[Scent of a vanishing flora, Roman Kaiser, 2011, 184-185]
Cyclamen purpurascens Mill. as Cyclamen europaeum L.
Thomé, O.W., Flora von Deutschland Österreich und der Schweiz, Tafeln, vol.4 t.473 (1885)
© Rolf Marschner (2005), www.botanische-spaziergaenge.at