Heterochaeta diplostephioides Candolle, Prodr. 5: 282. 1836; Aster delavayi Franchet; A. diplostephioides var. delavayi (Franchet) Onno; A. vilmorinii Franchet, p.p.; Erigeron delavayi (Franchet) Botschantzev; E. diplostephioides (Candolle) Botschantzev.
Herbs, perennial, 13-57 cm tall, often caespitose; rhizomes robust, branched; roots long, thick, collar clad with marcescent basal leaf bases. Stems erect, simple, sparsely to moderately villous, sparsely to densely minutely stipitate glandular, leafy or sometimes scapiform. Leaves basal and cauline; cauline leaves gradually reduced, thin, sparsely to moderately villous, sparsely to moderately minutely stipitate glandular, margin remotely serrate to serrulate or entire, villous-ciliate, midvein prominent; basal leaves withered at anthesis; basal and lower cauline leaves long (petiole to 10 cm) or narrowly winged petiolate; blade oblong to oblanceolate, 1.3-15 × 0.8-2.3(-4) cm, base attenuate, apex acute to obtuse or rounded, sometimes mucronate; middle cauline leaves oblong to linear-lanceolate, base auriculate, subclasping; upper cauline leaves 1.4-8.5 × 0.2-1.3 cm. Capitula terminal, solitary, 6-9 cm in diam. Involucres hemispheric, 2-2.5 cm in diam.; phyllaries 2- or 3-seriate, linear-lanceolate, 9-16 × 1-1.5 mm, longer than disk, abaxially sparsely or sometimes moderately villous along veins, densely or sometimes sparsely, dark colored, and minutely stipitate glandular, membranous, margin narrowly scarious, ciliate, multiveined, apex acuminate, spreading. Ray florets 2-seriate, 45-93, mauve to purple or lilac-blue, lamina linear, 18-25 × 1-2 mm, glabrous, eglandular; disk florets 5-6 mm, orange to yellow, apex blackish or brownish purple externally, tube and proximal limb hairy, limb narrowly funnelform, 3.5-4 mm, lobes erect, triangular, ca. 1 mm. Achenes narrowly obovoid, 3-4 × 1-1.5 mm, sparsely strigillose, minutely stipitate glandular, more densely so distally, 4-6-ribbed. Pappus 3-seriate, white; outermost series of few white becoming straw-colored, broad scales 0.8-1.2 mm; bristles barbellate; inner bristles 3.5-6 mm, acute; innermost bristles 4-7 mm, weakly clavate. Fl. Jul-Sep, fr. Sep-Dec. 2n = 18.
Alpine and subalpine grasslands, rich or wet alpine meadows, scrub, boggy areas, stream banks, floodplains, seepage areas in coniferous or mixed forests; 2700-4600 m. W Gansu, E Qinghai, SW and W Sichuan, S Xizang, NW Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Kashmir, Nepal, N Pakistan].