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CYMBIDIUM


275


Becoming a pest in Hawaiian rain forests. ‘Brentwood’ is a more robust form. Often sold as Alsophila australis, A. cooperi, or Sphaeropteris cooperi.


for more on ferns, see “meet the ferns,” page 320.


Cycas


Cycadaceae CYCADS


ZZONES VARY BY SPECIES P PARTIAL SHADE O REGULAR WATER


Cyclamen


Primulaceae PERENNIALS FROM TUBERS


ZZONES VARY BY SPECIES FP FULL SUN OR PARTIAL SHADE O REGULAR WATER


X TOXIC IF EATEN IN LARGE QUANTITIES


stems, fall into winter. Leaves are mottled. ‘Album’ has white blossoms. C. coum. Zones 2–9, 14–24. Deep crimson-rose fl ow- ers on 4–6-in. stems in winter and early spring. Round deep green leaves. Varieties with pink or white fl owers are available. C. europaeum. See C.


purpurascens. C. hederifolium (C. nea-


Cyclamen persicum ‘Winter Ice White’


Cycas revoluta


Neither ferns nor palms, these evergreen plants are primitive, cone-bearing relatives of coni- fers and are excellent for tropi- cal effects. A rosette of dark green, feathery leaves grows from a central point at the top of a single trunk (sometimes several trunks). They are even- tually as wide as tall. Female plants bear conspicuous, egg- shaped red to orange seeds. C. circinalis. QUEEN SAGO. Zones 23, 24; H1, H2. Native to Old World tropics. Beautiful specimen plant to 20 ft. tall. Graceful, drooping leaves to 8 ft. long atop unbranched trunk. Protect from frost. C. revoluta. SAGO PALM. Zones 8–24; H1, H2; hardy to 15°F (–9°C). Native to Japan. As a 2–3-ft.-tall youngster, has an airy, fernlike appearance; with age (grows very slowly to as high as 10 ft.), looks more like a palm. Leaves are 2–3 ft. long (larger on very old plants), divided into many narrow, leath- ery segments. Tough, tolerant patio or houseplant; also good subject for bonsai.


Native to Europe, the Mediterra- nean region, and Asia, these lovely perennials are grown for their pretty fl owers carried atop an attractive clump of basal leaves. The blossoms resemble shooting stars or butterfl ies, and typically come in white and shades of pink, rose, red. Most go through near-leafl ess or leaf- less dormant period at some time during summer. Large-fl owered fl orists’ cycla-


men (C. persicum) is most often seen as a container-grown gift plant, though it is increasingly being used as a bedding plant in favorable climates. The other species described here are smaller-fl owered, hardier plants better adapted to outdoor cul- ture. Use them in rock gardens, in naturalized clumps under trees, or as carpets under camellias, rhododendrons, and large noninvasive ferns. Hardy types also grow well under native oaks. All are good con- tainer plants if grown out of direct sun. C. × atkinsii. Zones 4–9, 14–24. Crimson fl owers on 4–6-in. stems in winter. Deep green, silver-mottled leaves. There are also varieties with pink or white blooms. C. cilicium. Zones 3–9, 14–


24. Fragrant pale pink fl owers with purple blotches on 2–6-in.


politanum). Zones 2–9, 14–24. Large light green leaves marbled silver and white. Rose- pink fl owers bloom on 3–4-in. stems in late summer, early fall. One of the most vigorous and easiest to grow; very reliable in cold-winter climates. Set tubers a foot apart. There is a white- fl owered variety. C. persicum. FLORISTS’ CYCLAMEN. Zones 15–24. Orig- inal species has 2-in., fragrant, deep to pale pink or white blooms borne on 6-in. stems. Selective breeding has resulted in large-fl owered fl orists’ cycla- men (the old favorites) and newer, smaller strains; with rare exceptions, fragrance has dis- appeared. Plants typically have heart- or kidney-shaped dark green leaves, often with silvery mottling. They bear crimson, red, salmon, purple, pink, or white fl owers on 6–8-in. stems from late fall to spring. Good choice for color in place to be occupied in summer by tuber- ous begonias. Shade is required where summers are hot. Plants lose leaves and go dormant in hot weather, but usually survive if drainage is good and soil not waterlogged. Protect from slugs and snails; plants are especially vulnerable because tops of tubers and growing points are exposed. Dwarf or miniature fl orists’ cyclamens are replicas of stan- dards with half- or three-quarter- size leaves and blossoms. Can bloom in 7 to 8 months from seed. Miniature strains (profuse show of 11⁄2-in. fl owers on 6– 8-in. plants) include Miracle and Laser, both with fragrant blossoms. C. purpurascens (C. euro-


paeum). Zones 4–9, 14–24. Distinctly fragrant crimson fl ow- ers on 5–6-in. stems, late sum- mer or early fall. Bright green leaves mottled silvery white; almost evergreen.


CARE


All cyclamens grow best in fairly rich, porous soil with lots of humus. Plant tubers 6–10 in. apart, 1⁄2 in. deep. (Florists’ cyclamen is an exception: upper half of tuber should protrude above soil level.) Best planting time for tubers is dormant period in summer—except for fl orists’ cyclamen, which is always sold as a potted plant and can be planted out any- time. Top-dress annually with light application of potting soil with complete fertilizer added (being careful not to cover top of fl orists’ cyclamen tubers). Do not cultivate around roots. Plants grow readily from seed. Small-fl owered hardy species take several years to bloom; older strains of fl orists’ cyclamen need 15 to 18 months from seed, while newer strains can bloom 7 months after plant- ing. Grown in open ground, plants often self-sow.


Cydonia. See Quince, Fruiting


Cylindrophyllum ‘Red Spike’. See Cephalophyllum ‘Red Spike’


Cymbidium Orchidaceae


TERRESTRIAL ORCHIDS


ZALL ZONES—SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS BELOW


P PARTIAL SHADE O REGULAR WATER


C


Cymbidium


Native to high altitudes in Southeast Asia, these orchids are very popular because of their relatively easy culture. The long-lasting fl owers grow on erect or arching spikes.


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