Suffruticose perennial, much branched. Stems decumbent, ascending to erect, 5-30 cm, ± glabrous, pilose to villous. Leaves elliptic to lanceolate, 10-15 x 2-5 mm, glandular punctate below, ± glabrous to pilose. Inflorescence terminal, ovate-globose, c. 15-20 x 15-20 mm, ± glabrous to vinous, c. 14-30-flowered. Upper cauline leaves transitional into bracts. Calyx 5-6 mm, narrow tubular with short ± connivent linear-lanceolate teeth, ± glabrous to densely villous. Corolla white, pink to mauve, 8-11 mm; tube included within calyx in male-sterile flowers, shortly exserted in hermaphrodite flowers. Nutlets pale brown.
Described from Siberia (? type in P).
The extreme polymorphism of this species (s.l.) throughout SW Asia is well-known. In Pakistan, unlike other areas, the variation is relatively limited and only two variants are recognized here. Although I have followed Rechinger’s Flora Iranica treatment by recognizing two subspecies in our area, this stems more from convenience than a belief in the reality of two discrete taxa (cf. Hedge, 1961 and Rechinger, 1982). It would be a very suitable species for biosystematic and field studies by local botanists.