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A dwarf, deciduous shrub of dense, compact habit about 1 ft high, with rigid, erect stems, the upper branchlets of which become spine-tipped; young shoots glabrous except for a few pale bristles at first. Leaves dull grayish green, linear, 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 in. long, 1⁄20 in. wide, fleshy, often showing a tendency to become pinnate; glabrous except for an occasional bristle like those on the young shoots. Flowers few in terminal corymbs; each flower about 5⁄8 in. across; petals four, yellow with brown veins, roundish obovate, narrowed at the base to a slender claw about as long as the blade. Calyx tubular, 1⁄4 in. long, green, with four erect pointed teeth. Seed-vessel a dry two-celled pod, erect, 1⁄4 in. long, somewhat heart-shaped, terminated by a flat, pointed beak 1⁄3 in. long.
Native of Spain, it was quite hardy in the rock garden at Kew, where a plant scarcely 1 ft high grew for twenty years, flowering in June. It is an interesting, but not very showy shrub. Propagated by cuttings of young wood. The bristles and spines on the stems and leaves are much more numerous and conspicuous in wild plants.