This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The habitat of this plant is sandy and calcareous places, steep declivities or rocks, and sandy coasts (Jersey). The plant has the lily habit. The stem is leafy below. The bulb has stalked offsets. The leaves are hollow, round, flattened or grooved, the ribs of the leaf rough when young, fading before flowering. The flowers are rose-colour or purple, in dense, round heads, or umbels, without bulbils. The keels are dark, rough. There are 2 short spathes, shortly beaked. The stamens are twice as long as the perianth. The anthers are included. The anther-bearing point of the 3-pointed anther-stalks is as long as the undivided part, longer than the lateral points. The plant is 1-2 ft. high, flowering from June to August, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is sandy woods and fields, bushy places, dry pastures and copses. The habit is as in the last. The bulb is egg-shaped, with small, stalked bulbils. The stem is leafy below. The leaves are linear, keeled, flat, with 2-edged sheaths, with rough edges, bluish-green, solid. The flowers are purple, few, in small heads, the bulbs spherical, small, deep-purple, in a round umbel. There are 2 shortly-beaked spathes, short-pointed, short and broad. The anthers do not project. The perianth-segments are red-purple, with a small point, with white margins, the outer keel rough. The anther-bearing points of the 3-pointed anther-stalks are shorter than the entire part or lateral points. The plant is 2-3 ft. high, flowering from May to August, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is river-sides, rocky pastures, meadows, and pastures in mountainous regions. The habit is as in the last. The bulbs are narrow, small, tufted. The stem is leafless, or there may be 1 leaf. The leaves are hollow, rounded, grooved or flattened above, awl-like, straight, smooth-ribbed, with barren bulbs. The scapes are slender or stout, hollow. The flowers are pink, in dense tufts, with lance-shaped petals, with many flowers in the umbel, without bulbs. The spathes are 2, egg-shaped, pointed, as long as the flowers. The stamens are united below, included, about half as long as the lance-shaped, pale-purple, bell-shaped perianth-segments, shortly stalked. The plant is 6-15 in. high, flowers in June and July, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this species is grassy places near the sea, rocky pastures. The plant has the lily habit. The bulb is as large as a hazel-nut. The leaves are linear, channelled, hooded at the end, appearing before the flowers (hence verna), numerous, as long as, or longer than, the stalk, bent back. The scapes are not so long as the leaves. The bracts are lance-shaped, as long as the flower-stalks. The flowers are few, bright-blue, fragrant, in more or less of a corymb. The perianth-segments are free. The anthers are purple. The capsule is small. The plant is 4-6 in. high, flowering in April and May, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is chalk pits in the E. counties, meadows near Nottingham and Yorks, parks, etc. The plant has the lily habit. The bulb is small, egg-shaped, stoloniferous, with chestnut-brown scales. The leaves are few, lance-shaped, linear, bluish-green. The stem is round, wavy. The flowers are fragrant, bright-yellow, rarely produced in the wild state, the flowers drooping at first, then nearly erect, the perianth-segments elliptic to lance-shaped, the tips hairy, the scape 1-flowered, hairless. The stigma is yellow, and the stamens are hairy below. The capsule is acute above and below. The plant is 6-18 in. high, flowering in April and May, and is a herbaceous perennial.