Herbs, 3-7(-15) cm tall, glabrous except for petioles. Rhizomes to 10 cm, with a pair of membranous scales on each node. Leaves 6-10, rosulate; leaf blade obovate, obovate-ob-long, or spatulate, 2-7 cm, subleathery, base tapering, margin entire or obscurely and sparsely toothed, apex obtuse and usually apiculate. Flowers in fascicles of 3-5 or in a raceme; bracts subulate-lanceolate. Calyx ca. 1 cm, leathery; lobes subulate-triangular. Corolla dark blue to purple, 1.5-2.5 cm; tube 0.8-1.3 cm; throat yellowish and/or with purple dots; lower lip middle lobe entire; upper lip erect, deeply 2-lobed, rarely shallowly 2-parted. Stamens inserted near middle of tube; filaments glabrous. Fruit red to dark purple, ovoid, ca. 1 cm, included in persistent calyx. Seeds numerous, brownish yellow, oblong, ca. 1 mm. Fl. May-Jul, fr. Jul-Sep.
Grassland, sparse forests, along streams; 2000-4500 m. Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Mongolia, Sikkim].