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.
Root very long and tapering. Stem erect, obtusely angled, rough-haired like the whole plant. Leaves entire or slightly crenate, wavy, lowermost linear-lanceolate, narrowed into a foot-stalk; upper leaves lanceolate, obtuse, sessile. Flowers shortly stalked, in a single or compound raceme, usually unilateral, large and handsome, bell-shaped, porcelain-blue, occasionally darker or white. Corolla lobes bearded within and without. Calyx-teeth lanceolate, acute; appendages to calyx nearly as long as calyx-tube. Capsule nodding. Plant 10-18 inches high.
Alpine and sub-alpine meadows and pastures; 3000-8500 feet; widely spread. July, August.
Carpathians, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps; Jura, Germany, Norway, Italy.
One of the most beautiful of the common Alpine plants, and it should be more frequently cultivated in England. It is more easily grown from seed than by getting the long tap-roots, and the only precaution to take is that it must not be allowed to damp off in winter by an excess of moisture.
This is a much-branched variety, with lateral peduncles 15 or 20 cms. long, bearing 2 or 3 flowers on each branch. It is occasionally seen in the Western Alps, as at Mont Cenis, and in Savoy.
Biennial. Root turnip-shaped. Stem erect, 6-12 inches high, angular, leafy, very hairy like the leaves, viscid below, ending in a long dense spike of pale yellow, rather small flowers. Stem-leaves linear-lanceolate, sessile; root-leaves elongated, wedge-shaped, and prolonged into a leaf-stalk, finely serrate or entire.
Pastures and steep mountain-sides up to 8000 feet. June, July.
Carpathians, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps; Jura.
A biennial, 2-3 feet high, covered with grey hispid hairs. Stem erect, thick, leafy. Leaves close together, lanceolate, acute, crenate, sessile, getting shorter towards the long, spiky inflorescence. Flowers blue, in a dense, very long spike, erect, rather small for the plant. Lobes lanceolate. Calyx hispid, with linear lobes, about one-third length of corolla.
Pastures and hot, stony, bushy places in the Alps and lower Alps. July, August, up to 6500 feet; local.
Eastern, Central, and Western Alps as far south as Liguria (e.g. on Monte Toraggio), Sardinia.
Stem erect, stout, 1-2 feet high, hairy. Root and lower leaves stalked; upper leaves sessile, broadly lanceolate, clasping the stem by their cordate base, densely hairy. Flowers sessile, in small clusters in the upper leaves, the top ones forming a dense, leafy head. Corolla blue. Capsule short and broad. Calyx lobes linear-lanceolate, acuminate. Very variable.
Pastures and sides of woods from the plains up to 5000 feet. In England it grows both on dry, limestone hillsides and on damp alluvial soil, such as on Clifton Ings, near York. June, July.
Continental Europe, Russian Asia excepting the extreme north. British Isles.