Herbs 1-3 cm tall, perennial, caespitose, stemless. Caudex stout, fibrous, much branched, with many sterile and flowering leaf rosettes. Rosette leaves petiolate; petiole to 4 mm; leaf blade narrowly obovate or elliptic, 8-15 × 1-4 mm, abaxially grayish white and densely tomentose, adaxially green and glabrous, base cuneate-attenuate, margin with 2 or 3 acute lobes or teeth, apex acuminate. Uppermost leaves merging into phyllaries. Capitula solitary, in center of leaf rosettes, sessile. Involucre campanulate, 0.8-1.5 cm in diam. Phyllaries in 3 or 4 rows, apex acuminate; outer phyllaries narrowly triangular-ovate, 7-15 × 2-5 mm, basal part brownish or purple, glabrous, apical part leaflike and tomentose; middle phyllaries narrowly ovate-elliptic, 6-10 × 1.5-3 mm, purplish brown, apically arachnoid; inner phyllaries linear, 8-10 × 1-1.5 mm, glabrous, apically purple. Receptacle bristles light brown, 1-3 mm. Corolla purplish red, 9-10(-16) mm, tube 4-5(-8) mm, limb 4.5-5(-8) mm, lobes 3-3.5 mm. Achene pale brown, cylindric, 2-3 mm, glabrous. Pappus pale brown; outer bristles 3-5 mm, scabrid; inner bristles 6-7(-10) mm. Fl. and fr. Aug-Oct. 2n = 32.
Alpine pastures, meadows, and scree slopes; 4200-5400 m. W Sichuan, S Xizang, NW Yunnan (Dêqên) [Bhutan, India (Sikkim), Nepal].