Annual, (10-) 20-30 (-40) cm tall, very polymorphic, branched, erect or suberect, often roughly and densely hairy with simple, forked or branched hairs (heterotrichous), rarely subglabrous or glabrous. Leaves oblanceolate, oblong or subelliptic, stalked to sessile, entire to sinuate-dentate, very variable, ± acute. Racemes 10-30-flowered, lax, up to 20 cm long in fruit. Flowers 5-7 mm across, lilac, violet or pinkish, rarely whitish; pedicels 2-4 mm long in fruit, thickened, often c. as thick as the pod. Sepals (3-) 4-5 mm long. Petals (6-) 8-10 (-12) mm long, (1-) 1.5 (-2) mm broad, margin ± straight. Stamens c. 4: 5.5 mm long; anthers c. 1 mm long. Siliquae 4-7 cm long, 1.5-1.8 mm broad,linear-terete or subcylindrical, often straight, spreading, ± hairy (often densely so) with sub-appressed short or sometimes mixed short and long hairs, rarely glabrous; stigma conical; seeds many, c. 1 mm long, oblong.
Fl. Per.: March-June.
Type: Described from Algeria, Herb. Linn. no. 841/5 (LINN).
Distribution: S. Europe, N. Africa, most of Asia, and China.
Very polymorphic and perhaps hybridizing with Malcolmia strigose Boiss., thus some forms may be placed under both the species. Malcolmia stenopetala Bernh. ex Ledeb. (Fl. Ross 1: 170. 1841) is probably also not different from it. Leaves sometimes used as vegetable and cattle fodder by poorer people.