perennial 40-80cm tall. Leaves oblong to lanceolate l-4cm in length, crenate to deeply toothed, grey-green to green. Flowers 1-1.2cm long, bluish-violet to white and pink, in one-sided often branched spikes, summer. Southwestern Europe, east to central Italy and south to North Africa, amongst scrub and on rocky slopes. Very variable in the wild in size, habit, leaf length, hairiness and flower colour. Extreme variants include small plants with very small leaves and sparse flower spikes (formerly N. boisseri) and woolly-leaved plants (N. mallophora). N.n. subsp. amethystina (syn. N. amethystina) has blue-violet flowers (Spain, Portugal and North Africa only).