30 million potted Cyclamens are on sale in every winter. Most of them are
Cyclamen persicum hybrids with big flowers. Recently, miniature type
hybrids are getting popular. In addition, hardy types, so-called garden
Cyclamen are getting popular too.
brought to Europe in 17th century. In the late 19th century, large flowered forms
(may be tetraploid) appeared and appreciated by European people. It seems that such
large flowered forms were brought to Japan almost at the same time. In 1960s -
1970s, large flowered hybrids became popular as a pot plant in winter. In 1970s, a
famous singer, Akira Fuse released the song "SHIKURAMEN NO KAORI"(= a scent of
cyclamen) and this song made a big hit. Since then, persicum hybrids have become
the best seller so far. Many nurseries have bred their own strains with various colors
and shapes and they are on sale at 500 yen (US$4) - 10,000 yen (US$80).
Yoshihiro Kanazawa of Yamatsuri Nursery has continued to bred many famous
cultivars in thse years.
Cyclamen' (literal pronunciation, MINI SHIKURAMEN in Japanese) in Japan. The
Japanese tend to appreciate tiny flowers and this type cultivars are also on sale at
flower shops in winter.
crossing Cyclamen persicum (half hardy) and Cyclamen hederifolium (hardy) in recent
years. Such hardy hybrids were introduced to Japan and then they became popular in
a short period. Compared with usual large flowered hybrids, these small flowered hardy
hybrids are quite stout and they can survive in Japanese hot and humid summer. Now
they are on sale at cheaper price (400 - 500 yen = US$3-4) and people plant them in
Japan. Only few species (e.g. C. hederifolium) were known before in Japan. In recent
years, Yokoyama Nursery started to sell various types of Cyclamen species and
then they became popular. Now, the population of the enthusiasts becomes larger
every year. Japanese enthusiasts came to know the charm of Cyclamen species such
as interesting leaf patterns. Some enthusiasts say that leaf patterns of Cyclamen
species resemble Heterotropa, one of Japanese traditional potted plants. Please visit
Heterotropa page in my site for your reference. In addition, Cyclamen species
have very cute flowers although Heterotropa flowers are not showy.