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.
Plant 6-12 inches high. Stem streaked with black, almost glabrous. Leaves broadly lanceolate, crenate-dentate, sub-acute. Bracts triangular, ending in a short point, the lower teeth being subulate, aristate. Upper lip of corolla with violet lobes, narrowly conical, sub-acute, 2 mm. long.
Alpine and sub-alpine meadows in the Alps and Jura, and also in the plain of Switzerland.
The writer did not see the plant which was drawn and here figured, and cannot be sure that it belongs to this species.
Flowers usually in bracteate spikes or racemes, large and showy, red or yellow. Calyx tubular or campanulate, often inflated, 2-5 toothed. Corolla 2-lipped, tube often dilated, upper lip entire or notched, lower lip 3-lobed. Stamens 4. Anthers hairy. Erect herbs with deeply divided leaves, turning black when dry, parasitic upon roots.
There are about 150 species inhabiting the mountainous parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. Many are acrid, and consequently harmful to the pastures. Nearly all are Alpine or sub-alpine, and the great majority in the Alps grow from about 4500-6000 feet, and having been fully treated in the author's Alpine Plants of Europe, he does not propose to repeat many of those descriptions here, but to give a brief summary of them and to add a few species which grow at lower altitudes. This summary is based on that of the late A. W. Bennett.2
Flowers yellow. Upper lip of corolla drawn out to a long narrow beak:
Stem 6-12 inches, few-leaved, nearly glabrous. Spike elongated. Calyx-teeth leaf-like, inciso-dentate, bracts glabrous, pinnatifid. Leaves deeply pinnatifid. Segments inciso-serrate. South-eastern Tyrol and Venetian Alps; rare.
1 Flore de la Suisse (1909). Ed. frangaise par Wilczek et Schinz, p. 519.
2 The Flora of the Alps. By A. W. Bennett (1897), vol. ii. p. 89.
Stem densely woolly, 4-10 inches. Spike short. Calyx-teeth leaf-like, inciso-dentate. Upper bracts trifid. Leaves bipinnatifid, with toothed lobes and woolly petiole. Alpine pastures, Alps, Pyrenees, etc.
Spike long and lax, less hairy than the last. Calyx-teeth entire, lanceolate. Western Alps; rare.
Flowers yellow. Upper lip of corolla not prolonged into a long beak:
Stem scarcely 3 inches, leafy. Corolla bright yellow, glabrous, and spotted with scarlet or dark purple on the under side of upper lip. Leaves pinnatifid with blunt segments, obscurely serrated. Carpathians, Eastern Alps, Piedmont, and Switzerland.
Flowers large, sulphur-yellow. Plant 1-2 feet high, leafy, nearly glabrous. Spike leafy. Leaves pinnatifid, with linear' lanceolate segments irregularly incised. Alps, Jura, Vosges, Pyrenees, Apennines.
Flowers large, citron-yellow. Stem 1-2 feet high, rough with woolly hairs. Spike elongated, dense. Upper bracts entire, lanceolate. Leaves pectinate-pinnate, with narrow incised segments. S. Tyrol, Western Alps, Cevennes, Pyrenees, N. Asia.
Flowers red. Corolla beaked. Stem-leaves alternate:
Stem erect, 6-18 inches, leafy. Flowers large, light rose-colour or reddish. Spike long and lax. Calyx-teeth nearly entire, woolly like the bracts. Leaves pectinate-pinnatifid, glabrous. Segments inciso-dentate, not encrusted at margin. Alps, frequent.
Stem nearly leafless; smaller plant than the last and always woolly. Spike very short. Calyx-teeth pinnatifid. Piedmont and Western Alps of France.
Flowers few, rose-red, large. Calyx-teeth nearly entire or sometimes crenate, with recurved tip. Stem 1-3 inches. Leaves small, pinnatifid. High Eastern Alps, from Grisons to Carinthia; rare.
Flowers large, few, bright rose, with long darker beak. Calyx-teeth crenate, with recurved leaf-like tip. Stem 2-4 inches. Leaves pectinate-pinnate. Highest pastures and granitic moraines. Carpathians, Alps, Pyrenees.
Stem 2-4 inches. Flowers large, pink, few, with long tube and short beak. Calyx-teeth crenate, with recurved tip. Leaves pectinate-pinnatifid, with linear-lanceolate segments. Jura, Tyrol, Carinthia, Carpathians.
Stem about 8 inches high. Flowers rose-coloured, large. Beak of corolla short, lower lip very small. Calyx woolly, with leaf-like segments. Leaves bipinnatifid with inciso-serrate segments. Southern Switzerland, Tyrol, Western Alps.
Flowers red. Corolla not beaked. Stem-leaves alternate:
Stem nearly simple, leafy, about 6 inches long, prostrate or spreading. Flowers sessile, dark pink or rarely white, in short terminal heads. Calyx-lobes unequal, lower ones toothed. Leaves pinnate, with deeply cut segments. Damp meadows and pastures in the plains and sub-Alps. Western, Central, and Northern Europe. British.
A larger and more-branched, glabrous plant, at least a foot high. Leaves sometimes opposite, pinnate, with short ovate, crenate segments. Flowers rather large, purple-red, upper lip darker. Calyx bifid. Damp meadows and marshes. Northern and Central Europe to the Arctic regions, Siberia. British.
This does not ascend so high in the Alps as the last.
Flowers rose-coloured, rather large, upper lip darker, in a terminal, short, crowded spike. Stem, bracts, and calyx woolly. Leaves pectinate-pinnate, with linear-incised segments. Eastern and Western Alps, but not in Switzerland.
Stem 1-2 feet, leafy. Flowers dull greenish or rusty red, in a long dense spike. Calyx-teeth lanceolate, entire. Leaves pectinate-pinnatifid, with broad segments. Alps and Carpathians.
Flowers deep pink. Stem-leaves in whorls:
Stem erect, simple, with a few whorls of 3-5 narrow pinnatifid leaves. Flowers in crowded, terminal, whorled spikes. Calyx inflated. Corolla not beaked. Alps, Pyrenees, N. Asia, N. America.
Flowers pink, large. No stem:
Quite distinct. Flowers pale pink, large, on short radical stalks. Leaves in a radical whorl. Eastern Alps.