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.
Stem 18 inches high, rounded, branched above. Leaves linear-lanceolate, soft, but rough at edges, the inferior sub-obtuse, the superior acute. Scales oval, mucronate, 1/4 or 1/3 length of calyx-tube, purple-red. Petals large, slit and fringed, pink or lilac, with reddish hairs and green spots at the base, rarely white, scented.
Central and Southern Europe; Western Asia, Japan.
D. speciosus Reichb. is a rare Alpine variety, found in meadows in Southern Switzerland and Tyrol from 5000-7500 feet.
D. superbus does not live very long, and is generally treated as a biennial. It requires deep, peaty soil or a mixture of sand and leaf-mould.
This belongs to the same group as superbus, and may be treated in a similar way, though it grows in drier places. The variety alpicola Koch (D. alpestris Sternb. and Hoppe) has 1-flowered stems. It is found locally in meadows in Southern Tyrol and Carinthia, at from 1600-2400 metres.
D. monspessulanus is a native of Southern Europe.
Stem about a foot high or higher, simple. Leaves linear-acute; the stem-leaves with a long sheath. Flowers a deep red, sub-sessile, 2-8 in a dense panicle, surrounded with coriaceous bracts. Scales of calyx scarious, the point reaching the centre of the calyx-tube. Calyx dark purple. Petals obovate, hairy at the throat, toothed; capsule cylindrical.
Arid, stony, and bushy places in the Alps and plains, up to 7000 or 8000 feet in the Alps. June to September.
Central and Southern Europe, but rare in the Mediterranean region.
A very variable plant with several named varieties, such as atro-rubens, vaginatus, etc.
Glabrous; forming tufts of leaves, Stem 12-18 inches high, branching, angular. Leaves linear, flat. Flowers pink, with a purple circle round the centre, in heads of 2-4. Scales long, striated, with erect spreading point, equalling the tube of the calyx. Calyx rather long, striated throughout, with sharp lanceolate teeth. Petals hairy at the throat, deeply toothed. Capsule cylindric.
Dry, bushy places in the lower mountains and hills; local. June to August.
1. SILENE INFLATA (WITH MAUVE FORM).
2. DIANTHUS SYLVESTRIS.
3. DIANTHUS CARTHUSIANORUM.
4,7 NATURAL SIZE.
Western Alps, Eastern Pyrenees, Central Europe and Western Asia. Only in trans-alpine Switzerland.
Glabrous. Stem 5-9 inches high, angular. Leaves soft, the lower ones short and broadly linear, obtuse, with 3-5 nerves; the stem-leaves longer and pointed. Scales 4, erect, the lower two herbaceous, oval, the point reaching half the length of the calyx. Calyx rather short, 13-16 mm., narrow, striated throughout its length, teeth lanceolate acuminate. Petals glabrous, entire or toothed. Flowers pink or whitish, 1-3 at the top of the stem, longly petioled. Capsule cylindric, extending slightly beyond the calyx.
Rocks and dry pastures in the Southern Alps; rare. June to August.
Maritime Alps, Liguria, Piedmont; Hautes-Alpes and Basses-Alpes.