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.
Flowers usually solitary, springing from a fleshy corm. Leaves radical, appearing after the flowers. Flowers with long tube like those of Crocus. Stamens 6. Ovary underground, but within the lengthened tube of the perianth. Styles 3, very long and threadlike. Capsule 3-valved.
No leaves at time of flowering, but appearing later. Corm ending in a sheath of brown scales enclosing the base of the flowers, whose tube rises 3-5 inches above the ground, with 6 oblong segments, pinkish lilac in colour, rarely white. In spring the leaves attain a length of 8 or 10 inches, by an inch or more in breadth. The large capsule is then raised above the ground by the lengthening of the peduncle, and the leaves wither away.
Moist meadows and pastures in hilly districts. August, September.
Central and Southern Europe, rare in the north, but abundant locally in England and Ireland.
Resembling the last, but smaller, and the sepals are narrower. The leaves are also narrower and only 2 in number instead of 3 or 4.
Alpine meadows at about 5000-6000 feet, much less common than the last, but sometimes growing with it. July, August.
Valais, Tessin, Western Alps, Sicily.
In Alpine Plants of Europe it was incorrectly stated to grow in the Department of the Var and in Corsica. In Corsica it appears as a still smaller variety called C. parvulum Ten.
Flowers rose-lilac, the colour of Colchicum, or rarely white, appearing with the lanceolate-concave root-leaves. Perianth-segments spreading, united at the throat by small scales. Stamens 6. 1 style trifid at the top. Bulb ovoid, in a brown tunic. Capsule oval, acute.
Western Alps, Pyrenees, Caucasus. Very local in Switzerland (Valais, Mont Vuache, etc.).
Small plants with creeping rootstocks. Leaves grass-like, chiefly radical, flattened vertically, and sheathing like the leaves of an Iris. Flowers small, yellow, in terminal spikes. Perianth of 6 segments, persistent round the capsule, which is small and 3-lobed. Stamens attached to the perianth-segments.
This small genus is chiefly North American.
Leaves radical, linear, sword-shaped and stiff, 3-nerved; leafstalk without bracts at the base. Flowers small, yellowish, in a spike or raceme at the end of the scape.
Moist Alpine meadows and pastures; 5000-9000 feet.
Eastern and Central Alps, and rarely in the Western Alps (Mont Cenis and Monte Viso), Northern Europe, Arctic regions. British.
Leaves longer, many-nerved. Leaf-stalk hidden by bracts at the base. Stems simple, sometimes a foot high, with a spike of yellowish flowers. Commoner than the last, but not attaining so great an elevation. June to August.
1. TOFIELDIA CALYCULATA.
2. CAMPANULA PERSICIFOLIA.
3. EPILOBIUM FLEISCHERI.
4. EPILOBIUM ANGUSTIFOLIUM.
5. LUZEA NIVEA.
4/7 NATURAL SIZE.
Alps, Jura, Pyrenees, Central Europe.