Herbs perennial, (4.5--)10--30(--40) cm tall, slightly pilose, drying black. Stems 1 to several, dark purple, usually unbranched, or occasionally branched distally, with 4 lines of hairs. Basal leaves glabrous; petiole 1.5--2.5 cm. Stem leaves in whorls of 4, short petiolate or sessile; leaf blade oblong-ovate to linear-lanceolate, glabrous on both surfaces, pinnatisect; segments 7--11 pairs, pinnatifid, spinescent-dentate. Inflorescences capitate to spicate; proximal bracts leaflike. Calyx often with purplish dots or tinged with purple, glabrous or villous; lobes 5, unequal, posterior one 3-serrate apically, lateral lobes larger, serrate, densely downy-ciliate. Corolla purple, yellow, or purple with pale yellow lower lip and dark purplish red galea; tube ca. 7 mm, decurved through anterior slit of calyx, ascending distally near junction of limb, expanded apically; galea falcate, ca. 6 mm; beak ca. 1 X 0.6--1 mm, slender; lower lip ca. 7.5 mm X 1 cm, middle lobe rounded, slightly smaller than lateral pair. Filaments glabrous. Capsule 2/5 enclosed by calyx, triangular-lanceolate, to 1.8 cm, apiculate. Seeds oblong, ca. 2 mm. Fl. Jul--Sep, fr. Aug--Oct.
* Alpine meadows; 3000--4400 m. S and SW Gansu, N and W Sichuan, E Xizang