Where flowers bloom so does hope. - Lady Bird Johnson
Cyclamen are native to the Mediterranean region from Spain east to Iran, and also in northeast Africa south to Somalia. They are perennial herbaceous plants, with a surface or underground tuber (derived from the hypocotyl) 4-12 cm diameter, which produces leaves in late winter, and flowers in the autumn; the leaves die down during the hottest part of the Mediterranean summer drought to conserve water. Each leaf or flower grows on its own stem, which shoots up from the hypocotyl. The variegation is thought by some botanists to be a form of natural disruptive camouflage to reduce grazing damage by animals.