This member of the Spuria series forms dense clumps or tussocks 30-40cm in height when the leaves are mature. Leaves grassy rich green, 5mm or more in width. Flowers half hidden among the leaves, fragrant of ripe plums, the falls blue-violet with a yellowish or whitish purple-veined patch, the prominent style arms pinkish-purple, early summer. Spain to western Russia and the Caucasus, in scrub and grassland.
hartwegii Baker. 2B. A deciduous mountain member of the Californicae series, generally 20-30cm in height. Leaves 2-6mm wide, rather sparse. Flowers usually two (sometimes one) per stem, 6-8cm wide, pale to deep yellow or lavender, often with darker veins, early summer. California, in open yellow pine forest at 670-2000m. I.h. subsp. australis is a superior, more robust form with stems to 40cm and larger purple-blue flowers; also grows at higher altitudes and only in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains. Subsp. columbiana has flowers as big or bigger than subsp. australis which are pale yellow with darker veins. Subsp. pinetorum is small and slender, with small creamy-yellow flowers; restricted to Plumas County and possibly originally of hybrid origin with I. tenuissima.