Description from Flora of China
Phyteuma Linnaeus sect. Podanthum G. Don; Podanthum (G. Don) Boissier, nom. superfl.; Trachanthelium Kitaibel ex Schur.
Herbs, perennial. Roots carrot-shaped. Leaves alternate. Inflorescence elongate, spikelike or racemelike, comprising several axillary cymes, each composed of (1 or)2-4 flowers and subtended by a bract; pedicels short, with a pair of linear bracteoles at base. Calyx 5-lobed; lobes linear (at least in Chinese species). Corolla 5-divided to base; lobes almost free, linear. Stamens 5; filaments dilated at base, margin densely ciliate. Ovary inferior, 3-locular; style nearly as long as corolla, hairy above; stigma 3-fid, segments linear, recurved. Capsule 3-poricidal above middle, 10-ribbed. Seeds ovoid, ellipsoid, or oblong, sometimes angular.
Thirty-three species: N Africa, temperate Asia, Europe; three species (one endemic) in China.
(Authors: Hong Deyuan (洪德元); Thomas G. Lammers)