Small annual, 15-20 cm, covered with simple and glandular hairs. Stipules entire or with dentate margin. Leaflets small, mostly 4-5 mm x 3-4 mm, obovate to obcordate, apiculate. Peduncle 1-2-flowered, 2-3 xlonger than petiole. Flowers 5-6 mm. Calyx teeth slightly shorter than tube. Corolla less than 2 x as long as calyx. Young fruit protruding sideways from calyx. Fruit discoid, 3-5 mm high, spiny, with glandular hairs when young, later glabrescent to glabrous; coils 5-7, thin and pergamentaceous, second and third coil 5-8 mm diam., size of coils decreasing gradually towards first and last; surface of each coil, except the last, with a great number of S-shaped radial veins, entering into a veinless submarginal border about half the radius of the coil; spines grooved, usually about 4 mm, rarely short, inserted at an angle of 180 o in the middle coils; the last 1-2 coils spineless. Fl. 3-5. Rocky hillsides, Pinus brutia forest, s.l.-400 m.
S. Europe, Cyrenaica, Cyprus. Medit. element. The short-spined form has been found so far only in Turkey and Cyprus.