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 undivided except when under water (as in Hottonia). Calyx usually 5-cleft. Corolla regular, 5-lobed. Stamens inserted opposite the centre of the corolla lobes. Ovary 1-celled. Style and stigma undivided. Ovules numerous, with a free central placentation. Fruit and capsule dehiscing by valves or transversely.
A widely - spread family, many inhabiting mountain regions often at a great elevation. A few appear in the Antarctic regions and even within the tropics.
Small Alpine herbs, often with small rosettes and dense, elongated tufts of leaves. Flowers white or pink (yellow in A. Vitaliana) in small umbels, within an involucre of bracts, or solitary in the axils of the leaves. Corolla-limb rotate, tube long, suddenly contracted at the mouth, where there are 5 scales.
High mountain plants, chiefly distributed in Central Europe and Central Asia.
Root tapering, tufted, putting up shoots ending in rosettes. Scape 2-4 inches high. Leaves oblanceolate or elliptical, villous at the margin, with long, simple hairs like the rest of the plant. Flowers in umbels surrounded by an involucre. Involucral bracts lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, rather shorter than or equalling the flower-stalks. Corolla white or rose-coloured; throat yellow.
Alpine pastures and stony places on calcareous and schistose Alps; 5000-9000 feet. June to August.
Carpathians, Erzgebirge, Eastern and Central Alps. Not in the Western Alps except very rarely in Savoy. Arctic Russia, Asia, and North America.
Scape glabrous, 2-4 inches high, springing from a large rosette of green linear or linear-lanceolate, acute leaves, which are glabrous and only ciliated towards the apex. Involucral bracts very small, linear-lanceolate, much shorter than the flower-stalks. Flowers sometimes solitary, and then without an involucre, white, with a golden-yellow disc at the throat; lobes cordate. Flowers usually 3-5 in a loose umbel.
Alpine pastures and stony places on limestone; 4800-8000 feet. June, July.
Carpathians, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps, Haut-Jura; rare in Switzerland, except in the Stockhorn Range and Alps of Fribourg.
An annual species resembling the last, but taller and with smaller flowers in a more numerous-flowered umbel, and oblong-lanceolate, toothed leaves.
Grassy places and fields in the mountains up to 6500 feet; local. June, July.
Eastern, Central, and Western Alps, Northern Europe, Caucasus, Siberia, North America; rare in Switzerland, and only in Grisons and Valais (Saas Thai, etc.).
An annual species not found in Switzerland, but in some of the French Alps in the south. Plant 4-8 inches high, glabrescent. Leaves in a radical rosette, oblong-lanceolate, slightly toothed. Central flower-stem erect, the side one spreading, almost glabrous. Flowers on long, slender pedicles, forming a loose, spreading cluster or umbel. Corolla white or pink, small, 4-10. Involucral bracts small, lanceolate-acute. Lobes of calyx triangular, shorter than the tube.
Woods and pastures in the mountains. April to July.
Departments of Isere, Hautes-Alpes, Basses-Alpes, Alpes-Maritimes, Var, Vaucluse; Northern Asia.