Native fo regions from Europe and the Mediterranean eastwards to Iran, Cyclamen belong to a genus of 23 species of perennials growing from tubers (more properly called a corm by botanists, valued for their flowers with upswept petals and variably patterned leaves. Recently has been reclassified in the family Myrsinaceae.
They used to be called sowbread because the tubers were fed to pigs. Cyclamen is Medieval Latin, from earlier Latin cyclamīnos, from Ancient Greek kyklā́mīnos (also kyklāmī́s), probably from kýklos “circle”, because of the round tuber
The Japanese have a weakness for cyclamen especially for the potted species which are expensive but offer elegant and ornate large exotic fringed and colourful blooms. They are also partial to cyclamen for their neat habit in the gardens and planters.