Already in late winter before the snow has melted, the leaves and flowers of Cyclamen coum start to appear. The folk have given to this spring flower several names such as “boturche” (sowbread) or “kukrek”. This species belongs to the family Primulaceae.
Cyclamen coum is a perennial plant. It has a tuberous rhizome. The Tuber contains a poisonous compound called glycoside cyclamen. The leaves are kidney-shaped or rounded and they are dark green with white concentric circle or spot on top and brownish below. They grow out before and during flowering. The flowers are small, up to 1-2 cm, coloured in violet-pink. Just a few days after their first blossom small fruit boxes become visible. Typical for this species is bending of the flower stem around the fruit, which causes it to bury the fruit in the earth.
The early flowering time of Cyclamen coum occurs due to a certain peculiarity in plants - very often they keep the vegetation development’s rhythm typical for the place of origin, which is the case here. Home of Cyclamen coum is the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia and the Crimea, where is its main population.
The prevalence of Cyclamen coum in Bulgaria is very limited. This species can only be found on the southern Black Sea coast and adjacent slopes of Strandzha Mountain. There are also several isolated populations inside the country. [color=red]Cyclamen coum is protected by the Law on Biodiversity, Washington and Berne Conventions and has been added to the Red Data Book of Bulgaria.[/color]
The greatest threat to its populations is the harvesting for bouquets by tourists. Its dainty flowers wilt rapidly, so do not pick it! Leave it in nature, so that the others after you can enjoy its beauty.