Erect or ascending, rarely decumbent, ± adpressed-pubescent annual, 10-30 cm. Stipules oblong-lanceolate, free portion long-subulate. Leaves all alternate. Leaflets 2-4 cm, oblong-lanceolate to linear, acute, mucronulate. Inflorescences ovoid to conical in flower, cylindrical in fruit, pedunculate. Calyx to c. 1 cm, tubular, hirsute, 10-nerved; teeth subulate-setaceous; blunt, equal or unequal. Fruiting calyx with spreading or divergent teeth; mouth closed by a 2-lipped callosity. Corolla purple, lilac or whitish, 10-25 mm, exserted from the calyx. Fl. 1-7. A very variable species, of which a broad view is taken here.
1. Calyx teeth ± equal, or the lowest tooth slightly longer ....................var. pamphylicum . E. Medit. element. )
1. Calyx teeth distinctly unequal, the lowest tooth 1,5-2 x the length of the other teeth.
2. Flowering heads elongate-cylindrical, 2-4 cm or more long; flowers mostly compact, very numerous, usually 17-25 mm; fruiting heads 3-6 cm long; plants mostly erect; leaflets mostly oblong elliptic .............var. purpureum
2. Flowering heads globose to obconical, 1-2 cm long; flowers not numerous, usually 13-15 mm; fruiting heads 1,5-2 cm long; plant erect or decumbent; leaves narrowly elliptic to linear ......var.laxiusculum