Iberis Saxatilis L

Stems 3-8 inches high, woody and twisted at the base. Leaves entire, linear, alternate, rather fleshy, the upper ones pointed or mucronate, the lower ones obtuse, glabrous or ciliate, numerous, and close together. Flowers white, rather large. Sepals coloured at the edges. Filaments white. Silicules large, oval or oboval, slightly notched, broadly winged. Style short.

Rocks and limestone hills. May to July.

Distribution

Jura, very rare in Switzerland, Dauphiny, Provence, Cevennes, Corbieres, Spain, Italy, Taurus.

This species differs from the last, which it closely resembles, in having pubescent flowering stems, almost linear leaves, silicules more openly emarginate and the two lobes are rounded at the top, and the style is shorter.

Iberis Candolleana Jord

Biennial, glabrous. Stems 2-6 inches high, simple, leafy to the top. Leaves fleshy, not ciliated, entire, the radical leaves oboval, the stem-leaves spathulate, oblong or linear-oblong. Flowers purple-lilac, rather large. Fruiting-head in a tight corymb, with short, thick pedicels. Silicules large, oval, with rounded base, obtusely notched, with short, pointed lobes, and a style longer than the lobes.

Screes and limestone rocks. June to August. Very local.

Distribution

South-East of France (Drome, Vaucluse, Alpes Maritimes).

Aethionema R.Br

Sepals erect. Petals equal. Filaments broadly winged. Silicules suborbicular, emarginate, compressed, dehiscent, with keeled valves and broadly winged. Flowers usually pink, veined, small. Leaves thick, entire, oboval or lanceolate. Glabrous, perennial plants.

About 40 species, inhabiting Southern Europe, Western Asia, and N. Africa, several of which are now cultivated in this country. They require deep soil and a sunny position.

Aethionema Saxatile R.Br

Stem ascending, often curved and prostrate, almost woody at the base, 8-12 inches high, simple or branched, glabrous and glaucous like the whole plant, very leafy. Leaves leathery, often of a violet tinge, shortly petioled, entire, the lower ones obovate, almost sessile, the upper lanceolate-acute. Sepals sessile, with 3 nerves. Flowers white, mauve, or flesh-coloured. Fruiting-spike elongated, with spreading pedicels. Silicules rounded at the base, emarginate, with 2 many-seeded cells. Style shorter than the lobes.

Rocky places and debris in the mountains and sub-Alps, especially on limestone. April to June.

Distribution

Jura, East and South of France, Switzerland (rather rare), Cevennes, Corbieres, Pyrenees, Carpathians, Southern and Central Europe; Algeria, Asia Minor.

Biscutella L

Sepals usually equal. Flowers yellow. Silicule circular and separating into 2 distinct 1-seeded valves. Style long. A genus of about 5 species only.

Biscutella Iaevigata L

Root tapering, branched, tufted, with many heads. Stem erect, branched, glabrous or with stiff hairs on the lower part. Leaves very variable, entire or more or less dentate, acute, generally hairy, dark green, shining, the lowest leaves lanceolate and narrowed into a foot-stalk, the upper lanceolate or linear, sessile, with rounded, semi - amplexicaul base. Flowers yellow, fragrant. Silicules of two circular flattened lobes, with winged membranous border. Style about as long as the diameter of one lobe.

A polymorphic plant, generally considered Alpine, for it is very frequent in the Alps up to 8000 feet, but it is also found in uncultivated and rocky places throughout Central and Southern Europe from Belgium to Portugal and Roumania. May to August.

There are only about 5 species of Biscutella, all characterised by the peculiar circular silicules and long style, but we believe B. Icevigata is the only perennial example of the genus; e.g. B. cichorii-folia Lois, is a handsome annual of hispid growth and wavy leaves embracing the stem, which is often seen in waste or rocky places in the South of Europe. It grows in one or two places in Tessin and the Valais (Capolago, Aubonne).

Hutchinsia R.Br

Flowers small, white. Petals equal. Filaments without scales. Leaves pinnatifid. A genus of only 4 species, but represented in all the continents.

Hutchinsia Alpina R.Br. (Nocccea Alpina Reich)

Stem simple, ascending or recumbent, leafy at the base, 1-4 inches high, slender, sometimes pubescent. Leaves glabrous, pinnate, with small oval or oblong lobes. Flowers pure white, rather large for the plant. Petals oboval, twice the length of the calyx. Raceme long and loose when in fruit, with spreading erect pedicels equalling the silicules. Silicules elliptical, acute at both ends. Style short, with 2 seeds in each cell.

Damp, stony, and often shady places in the Alps, up to 10,000 feet and above. Common, especially on limestone. May to August.

Sometimes carried long distances by Alpine torrents, in the sandy bed of which its roots penetrate far.

Distribution

Eastern, Central, and Western Alps, Jura, Pyrenees, Carpathians.