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.
Rootstock nearly black, stout. Stem 6-18 inches, ascending. Root-leaves reniform, 6-9 lobed, serrate, 2-6 inches across, green on both sides; stem-leaves smaller. Stipules connate, toothed. Flowers very small, yellow-green, rarely perfect, in irregular racemes or cymes. Pedicels short. A variable plant, and in the mountains usually dwarf, with pubescent or silky leaves and petioles.
Moist pastures in hilly and sub-alpine districts. May, June.
Central, Northern, and Arctic Europe, N. and W. Asia, Kashmir, Greenland, Labrador.
Plant 4-10 inches high, forming compact tufts. Stems 1-1 1/2 times as long as the radical leaves. Leaves glabrous, dull green above, silky and silvery beneath, with 7-9 leaflets, some of which are free and others irregularly cut to the base, oblong-lanceolate, finely serrated at the top. Flowers in clusters forming a rather loose spike.
Limestone slopes and rocky pastures in the Alps and sub-Alps. June, July.
Pyrenees, Spain, Italy, French, Swiss, and Tyrolese Alps.
Various other species of this little understood genus are found in the sub-Alps, e.g. Alchemilla glaberrima, A. flabellata, A. pu-bescens, A. hybrida, and A. alpestris.
Herbs with perennial tufted stock and often creeping runners. Flowering stems usually annual. Leaves of 3 or more digitate, distinct, segments. Peduncles 1-flowered, solitary or forming a dichotomous cyme. Calyx free, double, i.e. of twice as many divisions as there are petals. Petals 5, or rarely 4. Stamens numerous. Carpels numerous, small, 1-seeded, crowded on a receptacle, which never becomes succulent.
A large genus extending over the whole of the northern hemisphere without the tropics, penetrating the arctic regions, and descending the Andes to their extremity.
Stem weak, prostrate, ascending or erect, many-leaved, cymosely branched at the apex, many-flowered, covered with patent hairs like the leaf-stalks. Root-leaves and lower stem-leaves palmately 5-partite, the root-leaves shorter than those of the stem; upper stem-leaves tripartite, passing into bracts. Segments elongated or wedge-shaped, serrated above the middle, silky-villous below and at the margin. Petals narrow, wedge-shaped, white. Stamens and carpels hairy.
Calcareous Alpine and sub-alpine rocks up to 8000 feet. July, August. Carpathians, Jura, Alps, Pyrenees.
Flower-stems 10-18 inches high, springing from an almost woody base. Leaves chiefly radical, pinnate, the common stalk rather long; leaflets 5 or 7, ovate, toothed, green; stem-leaves few and smaller, often with only three leaflets. Flowers few, rather large, milk-white, forming a loose corymb.
Rocks and hilly places in the sub-Alps; local. May, June.
Alps, Jura, Pyrenees, Cevennes, Auvergne, Corsica, most of mountainous Europe as far north as Sweden. Western Asia. Rare in Britain.