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.
Annual or biennial, 2-4 inches high. Leaves large, in a radical rosette, obovate-wedge-shaped, toothed at the top. Scape low, rather thick, the central erect, the others spreading. Pedicels short, erect. Flowers white or pink, 3-8 in a stiff umbel. In-volucral bracts obovate. Calyx downy, large, twice as long as the corolla, increasing after fertilisation; lobes of calyx ovate-lanceolate.
Fields on limestone soil. April, May.
Only in Valais in Switzerland; Southern and Central Europe, Western and Northern Asia, N. Africa.
Leaves radical. Flowers solitary or in a terminal umbel, on leafless, radical peduncles. Calyx tubular or campanulate, with 5 lobes. Corolla a tube, with an expanding 5-lobed limb, each lobe usually notched. Capsule opening at the top in 5 teeth. Seeds numerous.
A genus widely spread in Europe and Central and Northern Asia, containing many Alpine species, one or two of which reappear in Antarctic America.
Stem 3-9 inches high, erect, leafless, mealy in the upper part like the flower-stalks and calyx. Leaves radical, obovate-lanceolate, narrowed into a foot-stalk, dentate or nearly entire, obtuse, glabrous on the upper side, white mealy beneath, rolled up when young. Flowers in a crowded terminal umbel. Involucral bracts linear-apiculate, serrate at the base. Calyx-teeth oval, acute. Capsule longer than calyx. Corolla rather small, darker or lighter pink, very rarely white, with a yellow eye.
Damp, grassy pastures and meadows from the plains to the Alpine region, up to 8200 feet, often in great abundance on limestone. April to July.
Carpathians, Erzgebirge, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps; Jura, Central Pyrenees, Northern and Central Europe, Central and Northern Asia. British.
Leaves all radical, obovate or lanceolate, narrowed towards base, obtuse, entire, or with a wavy or toothed margin, coriaceous, glaucous on upper side, downy beneath and on margin with fine glands, when young more or less mealy and rolled up. Stem erect, leafless, glabrous, or covered with a white powder or mealy with fine glands like the flower-stalks and calyx. Flowers in a terminal, 2-8 flowered umbel, stalked, yellow, fragrant, mealy towards the throat, 8-10 lines in diameter. Involucral bracts oval, obtuse. Calyx shortly campanulate, with short, oval-obtuse teeth.
Limestone cliffs and perpendicular rocks up to 7000 feet, and on rocky pastures at lower elevations in the sub-alpine district and Jura. June, July.
Carpathians, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps; Jura, Black Forest, Servia, Apennines.
Stem 2-6 inches high, fleshy, bearing a few-flowered umbel of rather larger rose-purple flowers. Leaves smooth, thick, oval-elliptical, narrowed into a foot-stalk, cartilaginous, serrate, the margin mealy and white. Involucral bracts short and oval or nearly orbicular. Petals obcordate. Calyx mealy, with rounded tube and short oval bracts. Capsule sub-globular. A somewhat variable plant, according to position, etc.
Rocky places (limestone) in the Western Alps of Dauphiny and Provence, Liguria, and Piedmont; very local. June, July.
We have seen this species as low as 800 metres, near San Dal-mazzo di Tenda in the Maritime Alps, and up to 2745 metres, or 9000 feet on Monte Santa Maria in the same district, and at Mont Cenis at 2590 metres or 8500 feet.