Description from Flora of China
Plants perennial. Stems erect, 0.2-1.3 m tall. Basal leaves long petiolate; blade ovate-lanceolate or ovate, 6-15 × 2-7 cm, base cordate, margin serrulate, apex acute; cauline leaf blade elliptic, narrowly ovate, or ovate-lanceolate, 4-10 × 0.7-4 cm, base truncate, rounded, or cuneate, margin serrulate, apex acute or acuminate; lower ones long petiolate, upper ones sessile. Flowers sessile, aggregated into a terminal compound involucrate capitulum, sometimes with additional simple capitula sessile in upper and median leaf axils; involucral bracts ovate-deltoid, that of first-blooming central flower smallest. Hypanthium glabrous or puberulent; calyx lobes subulate or linear-triangular, 7-13 × 2-3 mm. Corolla purple, blue-purple, or blue (rarely white), tubular-campanulate, 1.5-2.5 cm; lobes equaling tube. Capsule subglobose or obovoid-conical, ca. 4.5 mm. Seeds oblong, compressed, 1-1.5 mm. Fl. Jul-Sep, fr. Sep-Oct. 2n = 30, 34, 90.
Fifteen subspecies are recognized, three of which occur in China.
Meadows, subalpine meadows, thickets, grassy slopes; below 2600 m. Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Xinjiang [Japan (Kyushu), Kazakhstan, Korea, Mongolia, Russia (European part, Far East, Siberia); SW Asia (Turkey), Europe; widely cultivated; naturalized in North America].