Prenanthes L. Prenanthes Purpurea L. (Plate XIX)

A tall purple-flowered woodland plant. Stems much-branched, glabrous like the whole plant. Capitula small, numerous, few-flowered. Involucral bracts in one row, few. Pappus-hairs simple. Leaves cordate-amplexicaul, bluish green beneath.

Mountain woods, especially in the Conifer zone. July, August.

Distribution

Eastern, Central, and Western Alps; Pyrenees, Corsica, Vosges, Cevennes. Central and Southern Europe.

The drawing shows merely one small branch, the complete plant being usually 4-5 feet high.

Lactuca L. Lettuce

Flowers yellow or blue. Capitula usually small, few-flowered, corymbose. Involucral bracts in several rows. Pappus of many soft feathery hairs. Fruit beaked.

Lactuca Perennis L

Capitula large, blue, on long stalks. Involucral bracts cordate. Stem very thick, 10-18 inches high, glabrous, branched. Leaves pinnatifid, with narrow segments; upper ones lanceolate.

Sunny rocks and hillsides up to 4500 feet, especially on limestone; local. May to July.

Distribution

Central and Southern Europe.

The four English species, with yellow flowers, are sometimes seen in the lower hills of Switzerland, viz. Lactuca muralis Fresn., leaves lyrate-pinnatifid; common in woods and under walls. L. virosa L., leaves bristly beneath; waste places. L. Scariola L., leaves less prickly, capitula smaller; stony places. L. saligna L., leaves scarcely ever bristly, linear, entire, arrow-shaped; capitula sessile, crowded; flowers pale yellow. Occasional in Western Switzerland.

Mulgedium Cass. Capitula Corymbose

Involucral bracts in several rows, few. Flowers blue. Fruit beaked, with a crest of bristles. Pappus-hairs soft, slender, silvery. Tall, robust herbs.

Mulgedium Alpinum Lessing (Sonchus Alpinus L.). (Plate XXVII)

Stem 2-4 feet high, purplish, glandular-hairy at the top, branched and leafy. Inflorescence a dense corymb. Leaves glabrous, except on. the dorsal nerve, lyrate-pinnatifid, the last segment broadly triangular and very large, amplexicaul and acutely auricled. Involucral bracts in several rows, few. Flowers blue or light purplish blue. Fruit beaked with a crest of bristles. Pappus-hairs soft, slender, silvery.

Damp, shady, bushy or rocky places, particularly in the Rhododendron and Alder zone, as shown in the picture. July.

Distribution

Alps, Pyrenees, Jura, etc. Central and Northern Europe as far north as Scandinavia and the Scotch Highlands.

Mulgedium Plumieri Dc

Stem 2-5 feet high, erect, green, glabrous, branched near the top into a loose umbellate cyme. Leaves glabrous, like the whole plant, lyrate-pinnatifid, with very deep segments, amplexicaul, with broad, rounded auricles. Flowers blue, larger than in alpinum. Achenes greyish, elliptic, compressed, with 5 ribs on each face. Capitula few, shortly stalked.

Similar situations, but much less common than the last.

Distribution

Western Switzerland, Vosges, Black Forest, Western Alps (of Savoy and Dauphine), Cevennes, Pyrenees. Spain.