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The Cyclamen Flower Meaning and Symbolism

The Cyclamen Flower Meaning and Symbolism

Cyclamen’s most significant feature is the sweet-smelling flowers that look like flying butterflies and silver-streaked heart-shaped leaves. The main Cyclamen flower meaning is deep love. And another Cyclamen meaning is sincerity. Keep reading to learn about the types of cyclamen and what does cyclamen mean in terms of Cyclamen symbolism.

About Cyclamen Flowers

Cyclamen is a member of the Primulaceae (Primrose) family, with around 28 species growing worldwide within the Cyclamen genus. 

Cyclamen is from kuklos, the Greek word for circle, or the Latin word cyclamnos (circular) about the habit and flattened tuber, circular. These plants can have foliage shaped like a heart or spear and white, green, or burgundy. 

Brief History and Origin

Originated in the Middle East, the Cyclamen plant is a popular species found in Palestine, Syria, Greece, Israel, and the Mediterranean Islands.

By 1860, the first Cyclamen plants were brought to England. And in 1900, this flower became a fashionable remark in France.

Cyclamen Flower Care and Growth

Most Cyclamen flowers grow as potted indoor plants, hibernating in the summer. But when you provide the proper care, your perennials will rebloom in the fall. 

These plants need bright indirect sunlight, whether grown indoors or outside in winter. They need a cool, dark space with strong air circulation during summer. Sprouting leaves are a sign that the plants are actively growing. 

Give your plants water when the top 1” of soil becomes dried out. However, do not apply water to the plant crown due to the plant’s easy susceptibility to rot. 

Your plants do best when the temperature is below 50-degrees. In winter, add a layer of gravel or pebbles to a tray filled with water. Then place your plants on top, keeping the bottom of the pot from being submerged.

You’ll need to report your plants every two years. It’s best done during hibernation in winter, using a larger pot and fresh soil. Then, keep them in a shaded place for summer and begin watering them in September.

Cyclamen Flower Uses

For over 2,000 years, Cyclamens have been used for medicinal purposes. For example, a Greek doctor and botanist, Dioscorides – listed the use of Cyclamens for treating hair loss, speeding up childbirth, and inducing abortions.

Drying and roasting the Cyclamen tubers is a delicacy for many regions and makes the toxic bulbs safe for consumption. 

Interesting Facts and Characteristics of the Cyclamen Flower 

The only Cyclamen species that’s become popular for indoor plants is the Cyclamen persicum. In Latin, cyclamnos means circular, referring to how the stem curls down after seeds form. 

This plant also has the name Sowbread due to being used to feed pigs to make the pork taste better. 

It was believed during the Renaissance period to heal earaches since the leaves have an ear shape. 

Popular Varieties of Cyclamen Flowers

Of the 28 species of Cyclamen flowers, Cyclamen persicum – referred to as florist cyclamens – are popular plants in gardening centers, bred to bloom in winter for multiple months. 


Victoria varieties of Cyclamens produce white ruffled flowers that are open-pollinated. 

Sierra Series 

Sierra Series produces larger-sized Cyclamen flowers, up to 3” in diameter. You can get these plants in purple, pink, scarlet, and white shades.


This species of Cyclamen is another open-pollinated Cyclamen that produces a strong aroma and petals in red or pink.

Cyclamen Flowers Meaning and Symbolism

Like most flower species, Cyclamen has multiple symbolisms and Cyclamens meaning. 

Deep Love

In Japan, the Cyclamen flower meaning is the holy flower of love, rumored to be the flowering love child of Cupid. It’s this reason that these flowers are popular for Valentine’s Day. In addition, these flowers have appeared in many paintings for lovers. 

Devotion and Empathy

Cyclamens are symbolic of devotion and empathy in the Mediterranean. As a result, you often see these flowers planted in Islamic churchyards and monasteries.

Hidden Enemy

Because some parts of the Cyclamen plant can be poisonous to pets and humans, these hidden toxic pieces can result in death when ingested. Therefore, this flower has the symbolic meaning of a hidden enemy. 

Cyclamen Flower Color Meaning 

Cyclamen color flowers can have individual meanings based on the flower color. What color is cyclamen? There are multiple shades of Cyclamen.


White Cyclamen flowers are symbolic of purity and innocence. But it can also mean perfection and elegance in the language of flowers.


Pink flowers are symbolic of a playful love full of possibilities. However, pink flowers can also represent femininity, while newer meanings include thoughtfulness and spontaneity. 


Red Cyclamens are traditional flowers symbolizing deep passion and love. And red is also the color of desire and seduction. 


Stunning purple blooms mean grace and charm mixed with mystery. You can also use these colored flowers to represent imagination and creativity. Finally, you can use purple for someone making an important life transition. 

Popular Affiliations of the Cyclamen Flower 

Cyclamen flowers are also affiliated with multiple significant figures in history.

Virgin Mary 

This flower has associations with the Virgin Mary in Christianity and Islam. One connection is that the Cyclamen flowers bowed to Mary after she accepted her mission of motherhood. The bent shape is also symbolic in Christianity of reverence, modesty, and humility.

Solomon’s Cyclamen Crown

The Cyclamen is often called the crown of King Solomon in one Jewish legend. According to this story, Solomon spent days searching for the design of his crown. After rejecting flowers from his servants for seven days, the Cyclamen was found growing under a mountain rock. 

He adorned his golden crown in jewels shaped like cyclamen, enchanted but bent before God in humility, with petals similar to the horns of the gazelle – The children of Israel symbol. 

Leonardo Da Vinci 

The Cyclamen was Leonardo da Vinci’s flower of choice around the 16th century. He used these flowers to cover the margins of his manuscripts. 


Learn more about the Cyclamen flower with these commonly asked questions.

When Is the Best Time to Gift Someone a Cyclamen Flower?

Potted Cyclamens are suitable gifts for mothers, sisters, daughters, or new love interests. In addition, these plants are great for holiday or hostess gifts, winter pick-me-ups, promotions, or birthdays. 

How Is the Cyclamen Toxic?

If the plants or bulbs are ingested raw, they can be toxic to pets and people. In addition, consuming raw plant parts can lead to death.

Why Do Cyclamen Flowers Face Down?

The Cyclamen flowers turn down after the seeds form to help guide the pods to the ground. 

Are Cyclamen Perennials or Annuals?

Cyclamens are perennial plants.

Final Thoughts

Cyclamen plants are cold-loving species that produce elegant drooping circular flowers. The sweet smell and classy look give these plants meanings of deep love, empathy, and devotion. While the poisonous plant parts also give this flower the meaning of a hidden enemy.