Rhizomes short, thick, with thick fibrous rootlets. Stems red-purple, ascending or erect, 9-18 cm, obtusely 4-angled, densely retrorse minute hairy, nearly unbranched. Basal leaves petiole to 4 cm; leaf blade ovate to elliptic-ovate, upper blades ovate to circular-ovate, 2.5-5 × 1.8-2.5(-4) cm, papery, adaxially glabrous, abaxially purplish, sparsely pubescent along veins or glabrous, veins elevated abaxially, base cordate, margin crenate, apex rounded or obtuse. Verticillasters in terminal, condensed capitula; floral leaves ovate to circular-ovate; bracts obovate to flabellate-obovate, subequal to calyx, margin densely ciliate, 3-6-serrate, teeth obtuse to spinescent. Calyx reddish purple, 1.5-1.8(-2) cm, sparsely villous, ciliate, 2-lipped to ca. 1/3 its length; upper lip middle tooth obovate, ca. 2 × as wide as lateral teeth, apex acute, lateral teeth lanceolate, apex acute; lower lip teeth similar to lateral teeth of upper lip. Corolla blue-purple, 2.8-3.5 × 1-1.2 cm, villous; upper lip ca. 1/2 as long as lower lip, ca. 1.2 cm wide, 2-lobed; lower lip with dark spots, 3-lobed, middle lobe elongated, ca. 8 mm wide. Fl. Jul-Aug.
* Stony alluvial fans in limestone mountains; 3000-4500 m. Yunnan
A handsome species with large showy bracts and flowers.