It is native to southern Europe and southwest Asia. It is a dense, suckering shrub or small tree growing to 5 m (16 ft) tall. The leaves are evergreen. The flowers are 3.5 to 5 cm (1.4 to 2.0 in) in diameter, violet-purple, often with small greenish-yellow spots or streaks. The fruit is a dry capsule containing numerous small seeds.