It is a short-lived perennial plant. It grows to 30–38 cm tall. Leaves are finely divided and yellow-green to gray-green, often remaining over winter. Flowers are 2 cm long, borne in racemes on short, branched, leafy stems from late spring to autumn. They have 4 petals, the top and bottom ones crested, the top one with a short, rounded spur curved downwards, the 2 inner ones connected at the tip.
Native to the southern foothills of the south-western and central Alps of Italy and Switzerland, but widely introduced elsewhere. It grows wild in cracks in old walls where drainage is excellent.
Nationale plantentuin, Belgie.