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 erect, leafless, glabrous like the leaves, bearing a single capitulum, pendent before flowering. Leaves wedge-shaped in outline, forming a sort of rosette, runcinate-pinnatifid, lateral segments nearly triangular or lozenge-shaped, terminal segment broad, 3-lobed. Flowers lemon-yellow, twice as long as the involucre. Foetid, Involucre green, herbaceous, with an exterior involucre of small scales. An herbaceous plant not unlike the dandelion in some respects.
Moist, shady Alpine and sub-alpine situations. June, July.
Carpathians, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps.
Capitula on simple or dichotomously-branched leafless scapes. Involucral bracts in several rows. Flowers yellow. Leaves radical. Fruit striate; outer ones with very short beak or none; inner ones with a long beak. Pappus of one row of feathery hairs, and usually an outer row of stiff bristles.
Stems 8-24 inches high, slightly thickened beneath the capitulum. Capitula 1-3 (usually single), golden yellow, fragrant. Leaves usually spotted with dark brown, forming a rosette, oblong or oblong-ovate, almost entire or sinuate-dentate. Outer bracts of involucre lanceolate, the inner ones linear-lanceolate, edged with yellow, otherwise blackish, hairy.
Sub-alpine pastures; rare in Switzerland. June, July.
In France, England, and elsewhere it grows in the plains.
Central and Northern Europe. British.
Stems 8-18 inches high, much thickened beneath the capitulum, which is large and solitary and 2 inches in diameter. Stems erect, scape-like, with 1 or 2 small leaves, hairy. Leaves mostly radical, lanceolate, dentate, hispid. Flowers pale or bright yellow. Involucral bracts blackish, hispid; the outer ovate, the inner lanceolate.
Alpine and sub-alpine meadows and pastures up to 6500 feet. July, August.
Carpathians, Riesengebirge, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps.
Capitula solitary. Involucral bracts in one row, narrow, usually longer than the yellow or purple flowers. Leaves entire, amplexi-caul. Fruit with a long beak, Pappus-hairs in several rows, rigid, feathery. Very milky plants. Flowers generally closing by midday.
Involucral bracts not longer than the flowers, narrow-lanceolate. Stem not much thickened below the capitulum. Leaves broadened at the base, insensibly narrowed, linear, usually erect. Flowers yellow. Achenes long and striate, the slender beak as long as the achene. Hairs of pappus long and feathery.
Meadows and rich pastures from the plains to the Alps. Often in great abundance in mowing grass.
Europe and Western Asia, but not in the extreme north. British.