Cyclamen europaeum

Also known as groundbread, sowbread and swinebread. This is a perennial plant found in Europe, in the Mediterranean area, the Alps, and some mountain forests. The bulbous roots grow leathery, veined leaves which are dark grey-green in colour and have light spots on top. The leaves are a reddish colour underneath. Drooping flowers bloom from June to September which vary in colour from pink through to red-violet. The flowers are grown on naked stems which roll up at seeding time so that the seeds are protected by the leaves.

The roots of the cyclamen plant have a drastic purgative property. It is used popularly by Europeans in the form of a decoction of the dried bulb, for the treatment of dropsy, mucous congestion, colds, flatulence and intestinal worms. Cyclamen is poisonous to humans, even in very small doses. In the past, it has been used as a poison for arrowheads.