The specific name echinatus means prickly or armed with spines or prickles and is derived from the word echinus (hedgehog).
When you look at the recurved thorny stipules on the stems, it is easy to see where the name comes from.
The plants may be up to 60 cm tall, but are usually much smaller; they have few to many branches, with leaves 2-3 cm long and 3-4 cm broad on relatively long stalks.
The flowers are about 3 cm in diameter and appear from July to November in groups of 3-8. They vary in colour from white and pink to brilliant purple, with darker blotches.
This beautiful and interesting species occurs from the Richtersveld to Clanwilliam,
usually on dry granite or sandstone slopes and protected by bushes or overhanging rocks.