This is the time of year when we can see how busy the ants have been. I suppose really what we are looking at is the result of what the ants were doing a few years ago, as it takes any seeds of Cyclamen hederifolium a few years to make corms big enough to reach flowering size. They really are the stars of the woodland and shady places at the moment.
We started out with a few deep pink ones and one white one. Now we have deep pink, pale pink and lots of white popping up where I know I didn’t plant any.
In this photo, you can see the seed pods that coil back on themselves. When the seed is ripe it is covered with a sweet sticky substance which the ants love. The ants take the seed, then I suppose, like us when we were children, when they get half way home, stop, and eat the sugary coating, dropping the seed and go back for more.
They are now spreading nicely, the original one here was the pale pink one at the top, the white ones have appeared all by themselves.
This white one has appeared right up against the base of one of our ash trees, somewhere that I would never think of planting one, accompanied by the berries of the wild arum. Are those spread by ants too, I wonder, or is it just the blackbirds that spread the seed of the arum about.
I’m beginning to think that I have more white flowering corms than pink ones.
No matter what colour they turn out to be, they are the only flowers that I have in the woodland at the moment, so they have earned the title of Star Performers. I look forward to them opening each year, they will soon be joined by Colchicum and Liriope muscari, but for now they take centre stage and keep this gardener very happy!