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.
Capitula small, usually numerous, panicled or corymbose, rarely solitary. Involucral bracts numerous, in several rows, with a few outer scales. Receptacle flat, naked. Flowers yellow, orange, or rarely purplish. Fruit striated. Pappus-hairs in many rows, simple. Branched herbs with few-leaved stems. A numerous genus.
Scape 4-6 inches high, erect, simple, leafless, except for a few leafy bracts, with a solitary terminal capitulum; or rarely divided into 2 or 3 branches, each ending in a capitulum; pubescent and even glandular at the summit, glabrous below. Leaves glabrous, but towards the summit covered, like the involucre, with black, woolly but not glandular hairs. Radical leaves in rosettes, up to 3 inches long, ovate-lanceolate, deeply dentate or pinnatifid, sessile, with base narrowed into a leaf-stalk, persistent. Stem-leaves very small, linear, entire, or altogether wanting. Style yellow, black when dry. Achenes with 20 furrows, narrowed into a beak towards apex. Pappus pure white. Flowers orange-red, darker on the under side.
Abundant in Alpine and sub-alpine pastures, up to 9000 feet. July, August.
Carpathians, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps; Jura; Apennines.
Scape 6-12 inches high, leafless, branched at the top into a corymbose umbel. Leaves all radical, soft, oblanceolate, obtuse, dentate, hairy. Bracts of the general involucre not awned on either side. Flowers flesh-coloured, pink, or rarely white.
Pastures and stony places up to 5600 feet; local. June, July.
Eastern Alps from Tyrol to Carinthia.
Much like a Hawkweed (Hieracium) in habit. Stems erect, branched, 1-2 feet high, nearly glabrous like the leaves. Root-leaves ovate, coarsely toothed, with a few small lobes along the stalk; stem-leaves oblong to lanceolate, pointed, toothed, clasping the stem by large, pointed auricles. Flower-heads rather large, yellow, 8-10 in a corymb. Involucres hairy, blackish. Pappus dirty white, much like that of a Hawkweed, but the achenes are contracted at the top.
Moist woods and Alpine meadows. June to August.
Eastern, Central, and Western Alps. Vosges, Jura, Cevennes, Pyrenees, Central and Northern Europe (becoming a mountain plant in the south), Russia, Scandinavia, British Isles.
Herbs with perennial rootstock, entire or toothed leaves, and yellow or rarely orange-red flowers, either on leafless, radical peduncles, or in terminal corymbs or panicles on leafy stems. Involucre more or less imbricated. Receptacle without scales. Achenes angular or striated, not narrowed at the top; with a pappus of simple, generally stiff hairs, of a tawny white or brownish colour.
A large European and north Asiatic genus, with a few American species, nearly allied to Crepis, but the achenes are not perceptibly contracted at the top, and the hairs of the pappus are usually stiffer and never so white. The habit is also different. Many species are very variable and difficult to classify.