Absolutely charming in the rock garden, alpine scree or trough garden, this is a spring-flowering perennial. It forms a small tuft of rounded, leathery green leaves with upright stems that hold nodding bell-shaped purple flowers with delicately fringed petal edges. Prefers at least afternoon shade and a gritty but moisture-retentive soil. In sunshine the leaves could become pale and suffer from brown, dry spots. Not as difficult to grow as some of the reference books may lead one to believe. Protection from slugs and snails in the winter and spring may be required: flower buds form in the autumn and are held down near the ground so they are very susceptible to damage. Native to mountainous areas across much of Europe. Well worth trying in Zones 3 or 4.