Herbs usually rough with coarse hairs. Leaves alternate, simple, and usually entire. Flowers in 1-sided spikes or racemes, rolled back when young, and usually forked. Calyx of 5 teeth. Corolla regular, or slightly irregular, monopetalous, with a 5-cleft limb.

1 Journal of Botany, December, 1911.

Stamens 5, inserted on the corolla-tube. Ovary 4-lobed, with a simple style inserted between the lobes. Fruit of 4 1-seeded nuts, like seeds, and enclosed within the calyx.

A large family in the northern hemisphere, with a few representatives in the tropics and southern hemisphere.

Cerinthe L

Glabrous and glaucous plants with entire, amplexicaul leaves with more or less heart-shaped base. Ovary composed of 2 carpels. Corolla yellowish, throat naked without scales.

Cerinthe Glabra Miller (C. Alpina Kit)

A glabrous plant. Stem 12-18 inches high, erect, branched, leafy to the summit. Leaves ovate-cordate, embracing the stem. Flowers yellowish or purplish, rather small, pendent, in a long panicle, very dense at the top. Sepals lanceolate, obtuse, not ciliated as in major, nor toothed as in minor. Corolla about one-third longer than the calyx, with short, triangular, sub-obtuse teeth. Anthers terminated by a short appendix. Nuts small.

Pastures, stony slopes, and borders of woods in Alpine and sub-alpine districts up to 6000 feet, especially on limestone. June to August.


Alps, Jura, Corsica, Pyrenees, Central Europe.

Cerinthe Major L

About the same height. Stem leafy, erect. Leaves ciliate, spotted with white tubercles, obtuse. Corolla large, yellow at the base, violet at the insertion of the stamens, limb red, but sometimes entirely yellow or purple. Anthers as long as the filaments.

Dry hillsides and stony places; rare. June in Switzerland; earlier in the South.


In Switzerland very rare; near Sion. Southern Europe, Corsica, N. Africa.

Cerinthe Minor L

A smaller plant, with smaller flowers and narrower corolla-lobes and sepals edged with minute teeth.

Mountain woods and pastures (not in Switzerland). May to July.


Savoy, Dauphiny, Provence; W. Central Europe, W. Asia.

Cynoglossum L. Cynoglossum Montanum L. Hound's-Tongue

Leaves green, with scattered hairs, but almost glabrous above, shining; lower leaves elliptic or oval-elliptic narrowed into a petiole; upper leaves heart-shaped at base, amplexicaul. Flowers reddish or violet, small in forked cymes. Corolla funnel-shaped.

Calyx 5-partite. Nutlets 4, with a thickened border. Not always easy to distinguish from the common C. officinale, which grows in sandy, waste places in Switzerland, as in England. Mountain woods; infrequent. May, June.


Alps, Jura, Vosges, Corbieres, Pyrenees, Cevennes, Central Europe, Western Asia; rare in England.

Lappula Moench

Flowers regular, small, blue. Corolla saucer-shaped, closed at the throat by 5 small scales. Nutlets 4, trigonous, bordered by several rows of barbed bristles. About 50 species inhabiting temperate regions of Old and New World.