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.
Leaves alternate, entire or toothed, without stipules. Flowers usually blue or white, either distinct or collected into heads with a general involucre. Calyx with a free border of 5 teeth or lobes, sometimes merely bristles. Corolla regular or irregular, with 5 lobes. Stamens 5, inserted at base of corolla. Anthers distinct, or rarely cohering in a ring round the style. Style single. Ovary and capsule inferior, divided into 2-5 cells.
A rather large family spread over temperate regions, and crossing the tropics in mountainous districts.
Flowers blue, in terminal, hemispherical heads, surrounded by an involucre of several bracts. Calyx reduced to 5 very narrow lobes. Corolla regular, deeply divided into 5 narrow segments. Anthers united at the base into a ring round the long, club-shaped style. Capsules many-seeded.
About 12 species inhabiting temperate Europe and the Mediterranean region.
An annual or biennial. Stems sometimes short and decumbent, but more often erect, a foot high, with a few spreading branches. Leaves linear-lanceolate, with wavy margin, more or less hairy. Flower-heads variable in size, on long terminal peduncles. Invo-lucral bracts broadly ovate. Florets small, rather pale blue, on very short pedicels.
1. TROLLIUS EUROPEUS.
2. CUSCUTA EPITHYMUM.
3. VINCETOXICUM OFFICINALE.
4. CAREX FERRUGINEA.
5. CYCLAMEN EUROPAEUM.
6. JASIONE MONTANA.
4/7 NATURAL SIZE.
Dry, sandy, and heathy places on siliceous soil in the plains and mountains; often in large colonies. June to September.
Europe, except the extreme north, and eastward to Asia Minor and the Caucasus; North Africa. British Isles.
Flowers in dense heads or spikes, surrounded by an involucre of bracts, usually blue. Corolla curved in bud, with 5 linear segments. Anthers free and distinct. Style cleft at the top into 2 or 3 stigmas. Capsule dehiscing below the middle, and crowned by the spreading teeth of the calyx.
A small genus spread over Europe and Western Asia, but chiefly in mountain districts.
Stem about 8 inches high, somewhat prostrate, leafy. Flowers on short stalks, forming a large terminal umbel, violet and handsome, the tip being darker than the rest of the corolla. Root-leaves reniform, bright green, sharply serrated like the petioled stem-leaves. Very distinct from all the other species.
Clefts of Alpine and sub-alpine rocks; 2300-5000 ft. May-July.
Carpathians, Tyrol, Carinthia, and Carniola.
Stem simple, 1-1 1/2 feet high, striated. Leaves crenate, serrate, the lower ones long-stalked, lanceolate, acuminate, those of the barren shoots cordate, upper stem-leaves linear. Heads globular, many-flowered; outermost bracts linear, usually longer than the capitulum. Flowers dark blue.
Stony Alpine and sub-alpine pastures, descending to a low elevation. May to July. 3000-7000 feet.
Eastern and Central Alps, including Southern Switzerland. Not in France.