Dianthus Sylvestris Wulf. (Plate VIII)

Considered by some a sub-species of D. Caryophyllus L., which is not Alpine, but grows on rocks and walls in Southern Europe, and in Algeria and Morocco. D. sylvestris is a dwarfer plant, more tufted, with 2 small scales to the calyx, and a slight scent. The flowers are bright pink and rather large, and usually in panicles of 1-3 on longish peduncles. The leaves are narrow, linear, acute, pale green or glaucous. A polymorphic plant.

Steep hillsides and rocks in the mountains, and sometimes in open woods; common. It attains 7500 feet, and descends to the plains. June to August.

Distribution

Carpathians, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps; Jura, Corsica; Pyrenees; Central and Southern Europe.

It should have an open, sunny position in dry, stony loam, or in rock crevices with plenty of soil.

Dianthus Glaucus Huds. (D. Caesius L.). Cheddar Pink

A very glaucous plant, forming a short, densely tufted, almost woody stock. Lower leaves crowded, stiff, narrow-linear, but obtuse, about an inch long. Flower-stems 5-10 inches high, simple, 1-flowered, or rarely forked, with a few pointed leaves. Flowers rather large, fragrant. Calyx thick, with short teeth, the 4 outer scales broad, shortly pointed, not half-length of calyx. Petals broad, irregularly crenate or toothed.

Dry, rocky places, especially on limestone, very local. June, July.

Distribution

Jura, Alps of Savoy and Dauphine, Swiss plains, but not in the Alps; Central Europe. Cheddar Cliffs in England. It grows very well on garden walls.

Dianthus Subacaulis VILL

This small species is well-suited to the rockery, and especially on limestone, like the Cheddar Pink, but it does not seem known in this country. The root is woody, and it sends up tufts of short, rough, linear leaves; stem angular, simple, from 2-6 inches high. Flowers rose, rather small, solitary. Scales of the calyx broad, short (1/3 to 1/2 the length of the calyx), and with short point. Calyx short, striated above, with ovate teeth. Petals entire or crenate. Capsule conical. A variable species.

Rocks and rocky pastures, especially on limestone. May to August.

Distribution

Alps of Dauphine and Provence, Cevennes, Eastern Pyrenees; Spain.

Gypsophila L

Calyx short, campanulate, pentagonal, without scales at the base. Petals 5, gradually narrowed to the base, without a corona. Styles 2. Stamens 10. Capsule with 1 cell and numerous seeds.

About 55 species inhabiting Europe and Asia.

Gypsophila Repens L. (Plate XV)

Root tapering, branched. Stem 3-6 inches high, erect or ascending, simple or branched above, glabrous like the leaves. Leaves linear-lanceolate or linear, entire, acute, bluish green, moderately thick. Flowers in loose paniculate cymes. Petals 2-3 lines long, white or pale rose-coloured, more or less emarginate. Calyx bell-shaped, 5-cleft; teeth lanceolate, membranous at the margin, i-nerved, straight, obtuse, with a short mucro. Capsule sub-globular, obtuse, with a very short carpophore.

Dry, rocky, and gravelly places in the calcareous Alps and sub-Alps,1 3000-8000 feet. July, August.

Distribution

Eastern, Central, and Western Alps, from Savoy to Roumania and the Carpathians; Central Pyrenees, Jura, Poland, Germany.

Very easily grown in dry, sunny places, and increased by layers, or from seed. It quickly forms mats of dense foliage and flowering spikes, and hence is very suitable for covering ugly rocks, etc.