A real gem in the genus and certainly dwarf by comparison to its related species which can reach over 120 cms high! It is a hardy herbaceous perennial which begins growth early in spring, first emerges the foliage. This is deep rich purple with a silvery overlay to the centre and slightly serrated, held on extremely wiry stems, up to about 1 cm wide. The flowers are smallish but very numerous, the petals are needle-like and around one 1 cm long. Each flower lasts for a few weeks but numerous flowers are produced in succession.