Description from Flora of China
Herbs, perennial. Taproot long and thick. Leaves basal, glabrous or pubescent; petiole tenuous, 2-10 cm; leaf blade linear-lanceolate, lanceolate, or elliptic-lanceolate, 6-20 × 0.5-4.5 cm, papery, veins (3 or)5(or 7), base narrowly cuneate and decurrent onto petiole, margin entire or remotely denticulate, apex acuminate to acute. Spikes conic-ovoid at first but later capitate to shortly cylindric, 1-5(-8) cm, densely flowered; peduncle 10-60 cm, 5-sulcate, appressed pubescent; bracts ovate to elliptic, 3.5-5 mm, densely hirsute, keel spatulate, apex scarious and caudate. Sepals 2-3.5 mm, abaxially usually hirsute, keel narrow and not extending to apex; lower sepals connate to near apex, broadly obovate, 2-keeled, margin with sparse trichomes; upper sepals distinct, broadly ovate. Corolla white, glabrous; lobes ovate-lanceolate, 1.5-3 mm, patent to reflexed, apex shortly acuminate. Stamens adnate to near middle of corolla tube, exserted; anthers white or yellowish, ellipsoid, 2.5-3 mm. Pyxis narrowly ovoid, 3-4 mm, circumscissile near base, with (1 or)2 seeds. Seeds brown to dark brown, narrowly ellipsoid to oblong, 2-2.6 mm, shiny, with a broad groove on ventral face; cotyledons vertical to ventral side. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Jul-Aug. 2n = 12*, 14, 24.
Seasides, meadows, boggy places, stony mountain slopes, gravel beds, sandy area, roadsides, wastelands; near sea level to 900 m. Gansu, Henan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Shandong, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan; N Africa, SW Asia, Europe, North America].