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.
All the leaves trifoliate. Stem erect, 4-12 inches high, branched, 2-5 flowered, covered with long patent hairs. Leaves trifoliate; leaflets obovate, coarsely serrate, woolly beneath. Flowers large, yellow (considerably larger than in P. aurea). But the drawing is of the variety minor.
Rocky places and pasture in the Alps, 5000-9000 feet; rather rare. July, August.
Eastern, Central, and Western Alps, Eastern Pyrenees.
Stems short and tufted, sometimes procumbent at the base. Lower leaves on long stalks with 5 or 7 oblong, toothed leaflets; upper leaves nearly sessile or shortly stalked, with 5 or rarely 3 leaflets, covered with silky hairs. Flowers small, yellow, in irregular panicles at the ends of the short stems. Petals broad, longer than the calyx. A very variable plant, especially in being sometimes almost glabrous, and at other times densely coated with silky hairs.
Dry pastures and rocks in hilly districts, especially on limestone. April to July.
Almost all Europe, Western Asia. British.
Comarum palustre L. Marsh Cinquefoil. [Potentilla Comarum Nestl.) Rootstock almost woody, thick, decumbent. Stem 1 to 2 feet high, often purplish. Leaflets usually 5, shortly pinnate at the end of the stalk, oblong, toothed, hoary beneath, or softly hairy on both sides. Stipules entire. Flowers in a loose, irregular corymb, dingy purple or very dark red. Inner calyx-segments broad, outer ones narrow and much smaller. Petals snorter than the calyx. Carpels many, small, on a rather enlarged receptacle.
Marshes, peat bogs, etc., from the plains to 5000 feet; not common in Switzerland. June, July.
Central and Northern Europe (Norway), Arctic Asia and N. America. British.
The habit, foliage, and flowers are those of Potentilla, but the fruit is succulent, formed of the enlarged receptacle, studded with numerous i-seeded carpels, looking like seeds.
A small genus, widely spread over the northern hemisphere, with one or two species in S. America.
In Switzerland, in addition to the Oriental Fragaria indica, which is sub-spontaneous in Tessin, there are 3 indigenous species:
Calyx erect in fruit. Often without stolons. Stems as long as the leaves, covered with spreading hairs. Flowers often greenish white. Fruit detached with difficulty from the calyx.
Hills and woods. Common in sub-alpine regions. May.
Europe, Caucasus, Canaries, Siberia.