This section is from the book "Sub-Alpine Plants Or Flowers Of The Swiss Woods And Meadows", by H. Stuart Thompson. Also available from Amazon: Sub-Alpine Plants: Or, Flowers of the Swiss Woods and Meadows.
Stems 6-18 inches high, with alternate, mostly sessile leaves. Root-leaves ovate-oblong on long footstalks, coarsely hairy and often much spotted. Calyx very hairy, much increasing in length after flowering, the lobes barely reaching the middle. Flowers in a terminal-forked cyme. Limb of corolla broadly spreading, with short lobes. Flowers dull rose-coloured, then blue-violet, though sometimes remaining rose or white.
Hedge-banks and woods in the plains and sub-Alps. April, May.
Central and Southern Europe to the Caucasus, extending northward to Scandinavia; rare in Britain.
Plant covered with glandular hairs. Leaves green, not spotted; root-leaves broadly elliptical-lanceolate, acute, petiole broadened at the top; stem-leaves oblong-linear, the upper ones lanceolate, clasping the stem. Corolla violet. Anthers deep violet. Inflorescence covered with viscid glands.
Woods and cool places in the lower mountains; local. April, May.
Southern Switzerland, and occasionally elsewhere, Pyrenees and French mountains generally.
Flowers regular, small, blue, white or pink, in terminal scorpioid cymes. Corolla saucer-shaped, the throat closed by 5 scales alternating with the stamens. Stamens included in the tube. Calyx-tube long. Nuts smooth and shining, compressed or triangular.
A rather large genus in Europe and Northern Asia; scarce in N. America and well represented in Australia.
A branched, hairy plant with stems 6-10 inches high springing from a tufted stock. Calyx cleft nearly to the base, with narrow segments, erect when in fruit and covered with spreading hairs. Corolla large, azure-blue, with spreading limb. Very variable in size and stature, and in the Alps often almost impossible to distinguish from the next.
Mountain pastures, woods, and other shady places. April to June.
Northern Europe and Asia, becoming a mountain plant in the central ranges from the Pyrenees to the Caucasus and Altai.
A smaller, more tufted plant with shorter and denser inflorescence. Calyx almost silvery, with spreading hairs, closed after flowering. Corolla deep azure-blue, sometimes white and rarely pink, scented. This species, if it be one, passes into M. sylvatica, every intermediate form being found in the lower Swiss Alps; but it has stiffer hairs, shorter cymes, thicker flower-stalks, larger calyx and more compressed habit.
Grassy or stony pastures of the Alps and sub-Alps, extending to 10,000 feet. June to August.
Alps, Jura, Vosges, Pyrenees, Corsica, Caucasus, Scandinavia, Morocco, Siberia, N. America, N. Britain.
Corolla regular, funnel for salver-shaped, throat usually naked, corolla-limb shortly 5-lobed. Flowers in leafy cymes or one-sided spikes. Nutlets 4, very hard.
A genus spread over Europe, especially in the Mediterranean region, and Northern Asia.