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 usually simple, ascending, leafy. Leaves crenate, the lower ones ovate-cordate or ovate-lanceolate, upper ones lanceolate. Stipules palmate-multifid, with linear or linear-oblong lobes. Spur scarcely longer than the auricles of the sepals. Flowers yellow, more rarely violet or yellow and violet.
Alpine and sub-alpine pastures (limestone and schist) up to 7500 feet. May to July.
Carpathians, Erzgebirge, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps; rare in the Pyrenees. British.
Stem 6-10 inches high, spreading. Leaves small, the lower broadly ovate, the upper oblong or elliptic-lanceolate, mostly entire. Stipules multifid, with 2-7 unequal lobes. Flowers rather large, usually pale violet but variable. "The lateral and lower petals have a pencilled purple dash and beard at their junction; which gives intelligence to the expression of the soft lavender flowers, with their delicate golden eyes" (Reginald Farrer in Gard. Chron., July 23rd, 1910). Flowers longly petioled. Sepals lanceolate-acute. Capsule oval, pointed, equalling the calyx.
Sandy, stony slopes and screes at 4000-5000 feet; rare. April to July.
Peculiar to a few places in the French and Italian Maritime Alps, and the mountains of Liguria on the east side of the Col di Tenda.
Root fibrous. Stem ascending, leafy. Leaves rounded, crenate, ciliate; upper leaves oval-cordate or truncate at the base. Stipules large, obliquely cordate, incised-dentate, ciliate. Sepals subulate. Spur subulate, larger than the calyx. Capsule obtuse.
Pastures in the Alpine and sub-alpine regions; local. June to August.
Pyrenees, Spain, Haute Savoie (Grammont), Apennines.
The rootstock often sends out runners, as in V. odorata. A small perfectly glabrous plant, or with rarely a few hairs on the peduncles. Leaves reniform or orbicular, cordate at the base, very slightly crenate. Flowers small, pale blue or bluish lilac with purple streaks, scentless. Sepals obtuse. Spur very short. Stigma broad.
Marshy ground and bogs in woods and on mountains, extending well above the sub-alpine region. May to June.
All Europe except the Mediterranean region, Northern Asia, N. America. British. In Norway it ascends above the birch limit.
A tall species, sometimes a foot in height, with robust stems having a line of hairs throughout, and broadly ovate leaves, heart-shaped at the base. Stipules ovate-lanceolate, entire, or ciliated. Lower leaves longly petioled, the 2 upper leaves subsessile. Flowers large, pale lilac. Sepals ovate-lanceolate. Capsule glabrous.
Mountain woods. April to June.
South - Eastern France, Cevennes, Switzerland (widely spread), Central and Southern Europe. Occasional in Norway to above the fir limit.
Leaves oblong-ovate, heart-shaped at base. Stipules 10-20 mm. long. Flowers large, blue to whitish. Petals oblong. Stems erect, few.
Meadows, marshes, and borders of woods from the plains to the lower Alps. May, June.
A large-flowered, erect, and bushy variety of the common V. tricolor. Calyx half the length of corolla. Upper petals obovate, usually yellow. Spur very long. "Approaches V. variata very closely and has often been confused with it" (Dr. E. Drabble).
Switzerland, Savoy, Norway. British.
Figures of V. alpestris Jordan appear in an article by Dr. Eric Drabble on "The British Pansies" in Journal of Royal Hort. Soc.,1 xxxv. (1909), Pt. II.
1 "The flowers are yellow, and thus differ from the typical form of V. variata; but the latter may also possess yellow flowers, and it is such plants that have been confused with V. alpestris." - E. Drabble, loc. cit.
Leaves ovate, heart-shaped, acuminate, glabrous or with scattered hairs. Petals oblong, lilac or violet, the lower one shaded with darker colour. Stigma hairy on both sides and slightly arched beneath the top. Stipules linear-lanceolate, fringed-ciliate. Capsule glabrous.
Woods, thickets, etc., up to 5000 feet in Switzerland and to 6000 feet in the Eastern Pyrenees. April, May.
Europe, Asia from Siberia to Japan, Algeria, Canary Isles. British.