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.
Leaves opposite or whorled. Flowers small, collected into a capitulum surrounded by an involucre of bracts. Calyx-limb cup-shaped, entire or lobed, surrounded by an involucel. Corolla funnel-shaped, 4-5 lobed. Stamens 4. Ovary 1-celled, with 1 pendulous ovule. Style filiform. Stigma capitate. Fruit in-dehiscent, 1-seeded.
A rather small family, spread over the 'ancient world.'
Capitulum hemispherical or depressed, outer flowers generally large and rayed. Involucel tubular, 4-5 lobed. Calyx-limb cup-shaped, with 4 or 5 stiff bristles or awns. Corolla 4-5 lobed.
Stem 6-12 inches high, simple, erect, terminating in a single rose-violet or deep mauve capitulum, with large ray-florets. Lowermost leaves elongated, stalked, crenate, rather shining; upper ones pinnatifid, with linear-lanceolate segments.
Pastures and stony spots in the Alps; 4500-8000 feet. June to September.
Carpathians, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps; Erzgebirge, Vosges, Jura; Pyrenees.
A handsome species and well worth cultivating.
A hairy, robust plant, at least a yard high, with an ascending, angular stem and pinnate leaves, with from 9-15 lanceolate leaflets, serrated. Corolla pale yellow in a dense globular head.
Rocky pastures in the Alps and sub-Alps up to 6000 feet; very local. June, July.
Switzerland, Jura, and Western Alps of Savoy, Dauphine, Provence, and Piedmont.
Knautia Coulter Differs from Scabiosa in having the awns of the calyx deciduous.
A large, leafy herb, often 3 feet in height, usually hairy, especially at the base. Leaves lanceolate-elliptic or lanceolate, entire or toothed, not divided, glabrous, or furnished with long hairs, but never velvety, bright green. Calyx with 8 teeth. Corolla usually violet, rarely rose-purple, in hemispherical heads. Somewhat polymorphic.
Woods and meadows and shady places in the mountains, extending to the Alpine pastures. June to September.
Central and Southern Europe.
Plant 1-1 1/2 feet high, glabrous below, with a usually simple stem. Leaves dark green, shining, glabrous, narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, entire or toothed. Flowers rose, in small hemispherical heads. Involucral bracts oval-lanceolate, acute, almost as long as the flowers. Calyx with sub-sessile limb, and linear, pointed teeth.
Meadows and damp mountain pastures. June to September.
Pyrenees, Alps, Jura, Vosges, Auvergne, Cevennes, Central and Southern Europe.