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.
Stem erect, springing from a rosette of large leaves. Stem ends in a racemose cyme, covered with viscous hairs, like the bracts, flower - stalks, and calyx; ultimate branches 1-many flowered. Rosette-leaves thick, stiff, glabrous, tongue-shaped, or obovate-lanceolate, flat, obtuse, with a cartilaginous white margin, densely fringed below, inconspicuously serrate towards apex or entire, with distant, inconspicuous dots which are encrusted with lime when young. Stem-leaves smaller and passing into bracts. Petals linear-lanceolate, acute, orange-yellow. Sepals oval, obtuse, much broader than the petals.
Damp, rocky places and among debris in limestone mountains, descending into the valleys. June to August.
Carpathians, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps. Not found in the Jura or high Swiss Alps, but occasionally in the plains.
Root putting out naked runners bearing half-closed rosettes of leaves. Stem erect, 3-10 inches high, bearing a loose racemose cyme, glandular-hairy like the bracts, flower-stalks, and calyx, or calyx and lower part of stems glabrous. Branches 1-3 flowered. Rosette-leaves thick, stiff, glabrous, with cartilaginous teeth, and depressed dots near the margin; teeth sharp, covered like the dots with a white, at length deciduous, calcareous incrustation. Stem-leaves much smaller and more wedge-shaped, passing into the bracts. Petals obovate, obtuse, snow-white or sometimes cream-coloured, and often dotted with red. Very variable in size, colour, and habit, but nurserymen are too apt to give names to so-called varieties which are not always constant in their characters.
Common in rocky places in calcareous mountains up to 8500 feet. June to August.
Carpathians, Silesia, Bohemia, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps; Jura, Vosges, Black Forest, Corbieres, Pyrenees, Caucasus, Siberia; North America.
Stem 10-16 inches high, forming a many-flowered, loose, somewhat pyramidal panicle, branched from the base, glandular-hairy; the middle branches 5-15 flowered. Leaves of radical rosettes tongue-shaped, entire, pointed or mucronate, dotted near the serrated margin with an incrustation of lime, serratures cartilaginous at the apex. Stem-leaves smaller, passing into bracts. Petals white, often spotted with red, or more rarely with purple, wedge-shaped.
Primary rocks, especially granite, from 3500-6500 feet. July, August.
Eastern, Central, and Western Alps, abundant on Italian side of Simplon Pass; Pyrenees, Scandinavia, Iceland.
Stem 6-18 inches long, glabrous, rather slender, and often drooping, branching from the middle or sometimes lower, with several small linear and sometimes indented leaves. Rosette-leaves linear-oblong, elongated, channelled above, rather pointed at apex, thick, entire, with an encrusted indentation at the curved-in margin. Rosettes somewhat loose and erect. Flowers milk-white, in long and rather unilateral panicles, with branches of 2-6 flowers. Calyx glabrous, but slightly rugged, with lanceolate-obtuse lobes. Petals ovate, wedge-shaped. Stamens subulate.
Limestone rocks from 3000-5300 feet; very local. June, July.
French and Italian Maritime Alps and Ligurian Alps, with the Col di Tenda as a centre; Hautes-Alpes, Basses-Alpes, Var, Sardinia, Sicily.
It forms exquisite drooping plumes of blossom on the rocks about Tenda in company with the rather smaller 5. cochlearis.