Flower stalk slender c.10 cm high erect bronze/purple, bearing a
sweet-scented flower in the autumn before leaves appear. Petals white or very pale pink
with conspicuous deep magneta (noses) blotch M-shaped where they turn sharply up/back;
after flowering the stalks curve down forming small tight "springs" bearing a
seeding-box (you can pull gently on the coil and feel the spring-tension which pushes the
ovary against the ground, enabling ants to carry away the seeds); seed coat dark brown,
rough, very sticky when newly shed. Leaves spade-shaped, fleshy grey-green, marbled; leaf
underside rich purple or crimson. Tubers with rough greyish bark, about 7 cm diameter or
less; roots appear from one side of lower surface.
Shaded calcerous or ingenious rocks, on steep hillsides, banks, under shrubs or trees;
sea-level to 3,000 ft alt.
Found only in Cyprus; common in both north and south of the island.
Hallliday, S., & Lushington, L., (1988), Flowers of Northern
Cyprus, Angus Hudson Ltd, London.