Cyclamen persicum (Florist’s Cyclamen) Aka Persian Cyclamen, is native to the eastern Mediterranean, growing on rocky hillsides, shrubland, and woodland up to 1,200 m (3,900 ft) above sea level, from south-central Turkey to Israel and Jordan. It also grows in Algeria and Tunisia and on the Greek islands of Rhodes, Karpathos, and Crete. I have not found any records showing that this plant has naturalized in the U.S. nor the Caribbean (according to the USDA), but forum members from “Dave’s Garden” website report seeing it growing in California.
The name “Florist’s Cyclamen” refers to the varieties of colors ranging from white, pink and red and the cultivars which have also been developed to be “frost-tender”, and can be grown under glass in temperate zones. Nevertheless, they are said to do best in USDA zones 9-11.
The genus word “Cyclamen” is derived from Greek “kyklos”, meaning circle, wheel or ring; referring to the twisted flower stalks of the species. These twisted stalks arise from a tuber. The leaves are mostly variegated. The plant belongs to the Primulaceae family, commonly known as the “primrose family”.
Cyclamen persicum Miller, Step, E., Bois, D., Favourite flowers of garden and greenhouse, vol. 3: t. 176 (1896-1897) [D.G.J.M. Bois]