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.
Flowers irregular. Sepals 2, deciduous. Petals 4, one or two of them gibbous or spurred. Stamens 6, in two bundles of .3 each. Ovary 1-celled. A small family, chiefly of western distribution.
Flowers usually larger than in Fumaria, white, yellow, or purple; one petal only spurred. Fruit a 2-valved capsule, or narrow pod, many-seeded.
The species are spread over Europe, Temperate Asia, and North America, and many are handsome plants.
Root tuberous, hollow. Stem 8-18 inches high, with 1 or 2 deeply cut leaves, with no scale beneath as in C. fabacea. Flowers purple, lilac, white, or mottled, with thick curved spur.
Orchards, hedges, and copses, in colonies in the plains and hills, but local in Switzerland. April, May.
Central and Southern Europe, from Portugal to the Caucasus, and Sweden.
Tuber solid, bulb-shaped. Stem shorter than the last, with 1-2 leaves, having a scale below. Leaflets less cut up. Flowers purple, in a shorter terminal spike, nearly sessile, and with straight spur.
Woods and bushy places in the Alps and sub-Alps. April, May.
Ardennes, Vosges, Jura, Switzerland, Savoy, Dauphiny, Corsica, Central Europe from Sweden to Southern Russia.
Tuber solid, like a small bulb. Plant about the height of the first species, with 2-4 leaves, with 1-3 scales. Leaves twice ternate, with small incised lobes. Flowers purple, on longer stalks, spur straight. Flowers in a dense panicle which gets elongated after flowering. Peduncle as long as the capsule.
Hedges, hilly woods, and meadows, very local in Switzerland. March to May.
Western Switzerland, Jura, Vosges, Pyrenees, Central and Southern Europe, Northern and Western Asia. Not uncommon in the mountains of the Var, and extending almost throughout France.
This pretty climbing plant, with very pale yellow or nearly white flowers, is not found in Switzerland, though in the Department of Hautes-Alpes; but it grows in bushy places among the siliceous hills in the Pyrenees and Western Europe from Portugal to the South-West of Norway, and in Britain.