Height 5-20 cm, basal leaves usually withered in fruit. Leaves 15-35 x 5-8 mm; Inflorescence ± capitate, the upper branches and peduncles often becoming inflated in fruit, sometimes detaching complete with peduncle. Bracts herbaceous, 2-3 x 0,5 mm, linear, the upper bracts inconspicuous and obscured by the flowers. Flowers few per inflorescence, lilac. Fruit persistent, 4-6 mm overall, the unequal horns spreading to 2-3 mm. Fl. 4-5. Rocky places, 50-900 m.
Mediterranean Europe from Spain to Yugoslavia; Lebanon, Palestine, Cyprus, Crimea, N. Iran, Iraq, N. Africa. Medit. element.