Herbs with alternate leaves, often much cut and divided. Flowers small, regular, in terminal or lateral umbels (simple or compound). At the base of the umbel are often a few bracts constituting the involucre. Calyx-lobes 5, small or usually entirely wanting. Petals 5. Stamens 5. Ovary 2-celled, 2-seeded. Styles 2. Fruit separating when ripe into 2 one-seeded, indehiscent carpels. Leafstalk usually sheathing.

A large family, more or less represented nearly all over the globe, particularly numerous in Mediterranean districts and Western Asia.

Hacquetia Dc. Hacquetia Epipactis Dc

Stem simple, leafless, about 4 inches high, bearing a single simple umbel with short rays and a large involucre 3 times the size of the umbel. Flowers small, greenish yellow. Calyx-limbs toothed. Leaves all radical, 3-5 lobed, glabrous.

Bushy places up to 5000 feet in the Eastern Alps, from Carinthia to Carniola. April, May.

Astrantia L

Herbs with mostly radical, palmately divided leaves. Umbels simple or compound; involucre large, membranous, and often purplish in colour. Flowers polygamous. Petals notched, with a long inflexed point. Calyx-limb with 5 long teeth. Carpels with 5 inflated crimped ribs.

A small genus extending over Central and Southern Europe to Western Asia.

Astrantia Major L. (Plate XV)

Stem 1-2 feet high or sometimes higher, erect, furrowed, glabrous like the entire plant, simple or more usually divided above into 2 or 3 branches. Leaves palmately 5-fid, lobes lanceolate or obovate-lanceolate, acute, undivided or 2-3 cleft, unequally doubly serrate; radical and lower stem-leaves long-stalked, upper ones mostly sessile. Secondary umbels many-rayed, collected into 1, 2, or 3 irregular umbellate cymes. Bracts of general involucre net-veined, coloured white and red like the petals, 2-3 cleft or toothed, upper ones usually entire; bracts of partial involucre lanceolate, entire, coloured, radiating, rather longer than the secondary umbel. Mountain pastures and damp, shady, woody places in the Alps, descending to the plains. June to September.

Distribution

Carpathians, Sudenic Mountains, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps, Jura, Black Forest, Corbieres, Pyrenees. Sometimes naturalised but not native in Britain.

Astrantia Minor L. (Plate XV)

Stem 6-10 inches high, weak. All the leaves digitate, with 7-9 lanceolate, cut and serrated segments. Calyx-teeth ovate-lanceolate, acuminate. Flowers small, greenish white. Involucral bracts white with green apex.

Pastures and damp rocks in the granitic Alps, 4000-8000 feet.

Distribution

Tyrol, Switzerland, Western Alps, Pyrenees, Spain.

This plant will probably not thrive on a limestone or chalky soil, for it is a great hater of lime. It should have plenty of water in summer and shade. However, it is a poor species compared with major.

1. GENISTA SAGITTAUS. 2. GYPSOPHILA REPEXS. 3. ASTRAXTIA MINOR. 4. ALLIUM SCHCENOPRASUM. 5. SILENE RUPESTRIS. 6. HTERACIUM STATICIFOLIUM. 7. ASTRANTIA MAJOR.

Plate XV.

1. GENISTA SAGITTAUS.

2. GYPSOPHILA REPEXS.

3. ASTRAXTIA MINOR.

4. ALLIUM SCHCENOPRASUM.

5. SILENE RUPESTRIS.

6. HTERACIUM STATICIFOLIUM.

7. ASTRANTIA MAJOR.

4/7 NATURAL SIZE.