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Cyclamen

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Cyclamen are native to a few disparate regions of Europe: the Upper Engadine of the Swiss Alps, the Jura, near Bad Reichenhall in the Bavarian Alps and the limestone mountains of Slovenia and Croatia. Their very specific and selective distribution is a botanic and geographic riddle. The name cyclamen comes from the Greek word, kyklos which means circle and is believed to refer to the shape of the cyclamen corm. The plants have been known and used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. They are a favorite food of the wild boar. In the Mediterranean, a powder made from the corms was used as a stunning agent in the fishing industry. The Egyptians used the corms as pig fodder, and Hippocrates used cyclamen to stop pregnancies and cure infections of the uterus. Cyclamen Coum, which is the hardy cultivar, produces blossoms in pink, rose, white and magenta. The plant is winter hardy to zone 4.

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