You should grow Cyclamen hederifolium.  It blooms in the toughest places, at the most unexpected times.

Like Sunday morning, the day after Hurricane Irene.   I’m picking up leaves and branches and I see this tiny flower from 20 feet away.

It’s the first cyclamen of the season and very, very welcome.  How nice to have something fresh in my beaten-up, late summer garden.

It only looks fragile–

Hederifolium is the “wild cyclamen”.  A native of the Mediterranean region.  It’s one of the few things I grow that actually likes living under big, thirsty trees.

Ants spread the seed around the garden, so you never know where it will come up next.

Buy container grown plants from trusted growers.  Cyclamen hederifolium is endangered in its native habitat.   You never want to enrich the pockets of  plant poachers.

Finally–do not confuse with the florist cyclamens (persicum) which flourish in greenhouses.  Cyclamen hederifolium actually flourishes in my Wake County garden.    Not always easy–especially after a hurricane.