Usually under 8cm tall in bloom. Leaves almost square in cross section, to 60cm or more long when mature. Flowers to 7cm across, pale blue shading to white with stronger blue blotches, the falls with a central ridge, mid to late winter with part-grown foliage. Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, on stony hillsides, often amongst light scrub up to 1200m. I.h. var. aintabensis has smaller, more strongly coloured flowers with very short leaves, less than the height of the flower. Turkey, in the Gaziantep-Maras region, in scrub and among rocks. This is the best known and most freely available form, often flowering in early January. I. histrio needs alpine house treatment, I.h. var. aintabensis will grow outside in a well drained sheltered site.